Report sees server virtualization, cloud computing taking hold

March 9, 2009 -- A majority of companies have adopted server virtualization, and a small but growing number of firms are piloting cloud computing initiatives, according to a new survey by Forrester Research.

March 9, 2009 -- A majority of companies have adopted server virtualization, and a small but growing number of firms are piloting cloud computing initiatives, according to a new survey by Forrester Research.

The survey of 2,600 technology decision-makers in the US and Europe is Forrester's largest annual survey of emerging hardware trends for both enterprises and small and medium-size businesses (SMBs), and is part of Forrester's Business Data Services (BDS) series. "These survey results demonstrate that firms large and small are in the midst of rethinking and overhauling IT infrastructure and client systems, with new approaches for grater flexibility, efficiency, and performance," comments Frank E. Gillett, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester.

Key findings of the report include the following:

-- Fifty-four percent of enterprises have implemented x86 server virtualization or are doing so within the next 12 months. Fifty-three percent of SMBs have already implemented x86 server virtualization or are doing so within the next 12 months.

-- Enterprises report virtualizing 31 percent of their operating system (OS) instances today, and SMBs have virtualized about 36 percent of their OS instances. In two years, enterprise respondents expect to virtualize an average of 54 percent of all OS instances, while SMB respondents expect to virtualize 61 percent of all OS instances.

-- Cloud computing: Firms surveyed showed growing interest in pay-per-use-hosting of virtual servers, one of many types of cloud service offerings in the market. Five percent of enterprises have already implemented pay-per-use-hosting of virtual servers, and three percent more enterprises will be implementing within the next 12 months. Two percent of SMBs have already implemented pay-per-use-hosting of virtual servers, and two percent more SMBs plan to do so within the next 12 months.

-- Power and cooling: Eighty-one percent of enterprises indicated some level of interest in increasing the electrical efficiency of the data center, although only 18 percent said they are very interested in doing so.

-- Alternatives to traditional PC technologies: Firms are feeling real pain over the costs of maintaining PCs. Seventy percent of enterprises and 74 percent of SMBs said they hope to lower PC costs with alternative technologies such as various forms of desktop or client virtualization.

-- Information sources and influence in purchasing: Despite the hype about Web 2.0, IT buyers really just want to know what their closest associates think. Hardware decision-makers at enterprises and SMBs reported that their peers and colleagues are the most valued traditional source of information for purchase decisions.

"The State Of Emerging Enterprise Hardware Trends: 2008 To 2009" report is currently available to Forrester RoleView clients and can be purchased directly at www.forrester.com/go?docid=46497; the "The State Of Emerging SMB Hardware Trends: 2008 To 2009" report is currently available to Forrester RoleView clients and can be purchased directly at www.forrester.com/go?docid=45077.

More information about Forrester's Business Data Services and custom data analyses for B2B Market Research professionals is available at www.forrester.com/Products/MarketResearch/Business.


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