Virtual machines outsell physical servers

By Dave Bailey
14 May 2009 View Comments
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Virtualised systems to reach 60 per cent by 2013

Research by market intelligence firm IDC has revealed that for the first time ever shipments of virtual machines (VM) in Western Europe exceeded those of physical servers in 2008.

According to the research, the number of server systems shipped with a virtualisation platform on top increased by 26.5 per cent in 2008 compared to 2007, reaching 358,000 units.

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Giorgio Nebuloni, IDC European systems research analyst, said, "In 2008, approximately 18.3 per cent of all servers shipped in Western Europe were virtualised, against 14.6 per cent in 2007, and we expect the percentage to grow to almost 21 per cent in 2010. More importantly, last year, and for the first time ever, the number of virtual machine (VM) shipments exceeded the number of physical servers shipped, topping two million units."

Nebuloni predicts that by 2013, 60 per cent of all shipments will be virtualised systems.

IDC expects shipments of both physical and virtual logical machines will grow strongly, making VM management tools pivotal as both virtual and physical servers have to be operated, monitored, and patched.

"The current economic crisis [is] increasingly intertwined with virtualisation adoption, due to the need to squeeze costs with existing assets and weak demand for new hardware," said Nathaniel Martinez, IDC's European enterprise servers programme director.

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