x86 systems now more than 50% virtualised – study

The average rate of virtualisation on x86 processor–based IT infrastructure grew to 51% in 2012, TheInfoPro finds

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x86 systems now more than 50% virtualised – study

The majority of x86 servers are now virtualised, a survey by analyst company TheInfoPro has found.

The survey of US and European IT professionals found that the average rate of virtualisation on x86 infrastructure in 2012 was 51% – up from 38% in 2011.

There is more virtualisation to come, however, as only 29% of respondents said they believed their infrastructure was "sufficiently virtualised". Just under a quarter of respondents (23%) said their infrastructure will be "sufficiently virtualised" by the end of this year.

The majority of respondents (52%) said they spent more on virtualising Windows-based systems in 2012 than they had in the previous year. That compares to 33% who increased spend on virtualising Linux-based systems.

"Server virtualisation projects are still dominating IT activity, creating a one-time spending bubble as organisations lay down the foundation for a cloud-ready infrastructure," said Peter ffoulkes, TheInfoPro's research director for servers and virtualisation.

The complexity of integrating virtualised storage and network systems is driving some demand for 'converged infrastructure' – i.e. preintegrated, virtualised hardware, such as IBM's Pure Systems or HP's Converged Infrastructure range.

"Complexity is driving interest in converged infrastructure solutions, with 13% of respondents planning to implement the technology for the first time within the next two years," ffoulks said.

In Gartner's annual CIO survey, virtualisation has dropped from the second highest technology priority for 2011 to number eight this year.

According to Gartner analyst David Aron, who conducts the CIO survey, this does not mean virtualisation is no longer important but that it is sufficiently well understood to no longer require executive oversight. "Virtualisation is now part of the fabric of the way things are done," he said.