Utilisation the key to virtualisation, says analyst

Virtualisation is taking off in the UK, as businesses strive to gain cost efficiencies and greater use of existing IT systems, according to an IDC analyst.

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Virtualisation is taking off in the UK, as businesses strive to gain cost efficiencies and greater use of existing IT systems, according to an IDC analyst.

Chris Ingle, consulting and research director at IDC’s European Systems Group, told Computerworld UK that around 7% of existing systems in UK businesses had been virtualised. But he added: “70% of new serer systems are being virtualised by large businesses at the implementation stage. It is now a familiar technology, much more so than three or four years ago.”

Virtualisation is a technology that enables various applications and pieces of hardware to be consolidated onto a smaller number of machines and one benefit is that they can be more efficiently controlled. It was traditionally been used by testing and development teams, but server consildation is a fast growing area for virtualisation efforts.

Speaking at VMware Symposia 2007, the annual customer conference for virtualisation vendor VMware, Ingle said businesses’ ability to get the most out of IT was the main reason they cited for investing in virtualisation. “The second most important objective is to consolidate servers,” he added.

“Virtualisation also means businesses can reduce the deployment time of new servers,” Ingle continued. Saving management time was the next most important objective, followed by maximising the use of each server and enabling it to handle a range of applications which might otherwise conflict with each other on one machine.

Cost savings also remain a major driver behind the uptake of virtualisation among UK businesses. By reducing the number of servers they use, many cited savings on space and on power.

VMware, which is 89% owned by storage giant EMC, is a major force in virtualisation, is setting the stage to become a publicly-listed company in the second half of this year. Intel has announced it will buy $218.5m (£108.34m) worth of shares.

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