Which 50% will you virtualize?

PC World recently published an article on Hyper-V R2 competing with VMware vSphere.  I found this statement from Bob Kelly, Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Infrastructure Server Marketing, to be remarkable:

“That’s why I still maintain that at some point, you’ll be at 40 percent to 50 percent virtualized and you’re 50 percent physical, and that’s an important thing to recognize. If you recognize that, you can set the strategy. It’s not, ‘Oh God, we thought the world was going to be only virtual.’ That, fundamentally, is why I think VMware is in trouble,” he said.

In related news, Gartner recently predicted that 50% of all x86 server workloads will be virtualized by 2012.  Still no word on what happens in 2013, after global virtualization limits have been reached.  [Better start looking for some investors that can help me get VM cap-and-trade started.]

But seriously, many companies have already instituted “virtualization first” policies and deploying new apps on physical hardware requires sign-off from upper management.  If Bob Kelly is correct, half of all provisioning requests seek waivers from this policy?  Incomprehensible.

Bob Kelly also explained the true cause of server sprawl in that same article.  If you’re like me, you probably thought it was because of DLL Hell — complex product dependencies that made it extremely risky to manage multiple applications on a single Windows NT system — and SMP scalability problems.  Nope, it turns out that the real issue was the need for sufficient capacity to accommodate peak demand… wink, wink.

Which 50% will you virtualize?

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9 comments

  1. RobSF’s avatar

    My employer is virtualization-first. Physical servers are becoming rather rare….

  2. william bishop’s avatar

    Of course microsoft would say that, their product can only support about 40-50% of workloads (hyperv tends to die under workload). We’re looking at hitting around 95 percent. The only reason for the 5%? Freaking fax cards and dongles that won’t work. I’ve already got multiterabye databases that run many, many, many thousands of iops a second….On blades to boot!

  3. william bishop’s avatar

    I should specify, it tends to die under high workload in OUR testing so far…Don’t want them thinking I am impugning the quality of their software.

  4. Eric Gray’s avatar

    William, thank you for clarifying. I’m sure your environment is the exception for Hyper-V-appropriate workloads.

  5. william bishop’s avatar

    Eric, I’m sure you’re right…. 😉

  6. Ian K’s avatar

    My company is at 80% of x86 based OS instances are virtual today. We aim to hit close to 90+% in the next 18 months. 50% as a goal is so 4 years ago.

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