Inconclusive ResultsBy Brian P. Watson Print
Big companies, once hesitant about virtualization, are now embracing the technology. In some cases, though, they're still waiting to see the benefit. It won't be long.
Potential may be the operative word. According to a June study by The Strategic Council, 45% of companies consider their virtualization deployments unsuccessful. More than a quarter say they have failed to realize a return on investment or aren't sure when they will, while more than four in 10 didn't hit their cost savings estimates. It's not all blue skies for everyone.
Still, virtualization is clearly here to stay. On the day of VMware's IPO, company shares jumped from their $29 debut price to $51. They have since traded as high as $82.75. Citrix's acquisition of XenSource, which hasn't yet closed, gives the open source virtualization vendor a wider potential customer base and the opportunity to integrate with Citrix's strong application delivery tools.
Both vendors are also looking to integrate their virtualization software directly into the server instead of being installed on a hard drive. In early September, XenSource unveiled a software product that could be embedded onto server hardware, and VMware followed days later with its own offering.
Microsoft's entry, whenever it happens, will provide another boost. While the software giant only has 9% of the virtualization market, it has the market power to grab a bigger share and spur adoption.
Not that many users are waiting. With existing vendors and others improving and broadening their offerings, this is one train that has already pulled out of the station.
Related story: A Big Insurer's Virtualization Push
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