Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Shelly Palmer, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Hovhannes Avoyan

Related Topics: Virtualization, SOA & WOA, .NET, Open Source, Cloud Expo, Security

Virtualization: Article

‘Hypervisity’ Rages On

Competition in the hypervisor space is vigorous these days

We've tracked a trend for the past several years: customers aren't moving to standardize on a single brand or type of server, operating system, or even x86 hypervisor. But, in our in fifth annual x86 Data Center Survey (2011-‘12 edition), we were somewhat surprised to find that customers were using a wide range of different hypervisors to a greater extent than we anticipated.

The total number of respondents in our survey was 345, with 40% of respondents in mid-size and large organizations of 4,000 employees and above. This was a global survey; 46% of respondents hailed from Europe, 40% from North America, and 11% from Asia/Pacific. Respondents came from our Gabriel Consulting Group survey data base of previous participants and from targeted advertising.

Just over 80% of the IT shops in our survey are using VMware on at least some systems in their infrastructures. The company held roughly the same percentage of usage in both the 2009-'10 and 2011-'12 editions of our survey.

While VMware is the most prevalent, the company doesn't have a lock on the enterprise hypervisor market; other mechanisms are getting plenty of use as well.

Microsoft's Hyper-V product is the second most widely used hypervisor - around 40% of our enterprise data center respondents use it on at least some systems. This percentage has held roughly steady over both survey periods.

The major Xen variants from Citrix and Oracle are used by 32% and 21% of our survey respondents, respectively. These percentages are virtually the same in both our 2009-'10 survey and in our latest 2011-'12 edition.

The only virtualization mechanism showing growth overall is KVM, which moved from 31% to 33% prevalence in our two surveys. This clearly isn't a huge jump, but it's more than we've seen for other solutions.

Standardization of Hypervisor Platforms
Looking beyond which virtualization types are used, next we analyzed standardization on a particular hypervisor technology. We were able to trend this data as well. Again, VMware dominated but we detected more customers committing to KVM and Hyper-V as their "go-to" hypervisor technology. Let's review the numbers.

VMware has become slightly stronger in terms of being the standard virtualization solution for our enterprise data respondents, moving from 55% to 57%. But the magnitude of VMware's sizeable lead obscures the moves in the back of the pack.

We examined the same data, but with VMware removed to more clearly highlight the changes in standardization rate among the other hypervisors.

Customers standardizing on Oracle's version of Xen moved from 2% to 3% during the two survey periods. For Citrix Xen, we see a small drop from 4% to 3%. Both of these changes are probably due to differences in the survey respondent bases.

But when it comes to KVM and Microsoft's Hyper-V, we do think that we're seeing real growth. The number of customers who use Hyper-V as their standard solution more than doubled, moving from 3% to almost 8%. KVM also saw its customer standardization rates double from 3% to 6%.

Examining KVM's Growth
In fact, KVM is the only hypervisor in our last two surveys to notch gains in both the number of overall users and in the number of users adopting it as their standard go-to hypervisor.

These are modest gains to be sure, with overall usage increasing by 2% and standardizers growing from 3% to 6%.

While this isn't what we'd call "house on fire" growth, it's certainly a positive development for KVM and, given other KVM-related activities, might signal the beginning of a growth spurt.

We believe KVM capabilities have come a long way in the past several years, with support for a wide range of Linux, Windows, and even Unix guest operating systems. KVM also provides some of the most popular features of VMware and Xen, like live migration and the ability to host large (up to 16 CPU) SMP guest instances.

It's noteworthy that KVM is different from the others in a couple of crucial ways. It's the only hypervisor that's actually part of Linux and it uses the Linux scheduler and memory manager. Both VMware and Xen are external hypervisors and therefore need to have control mechanisms for the entire system, making them larger and more complex.

Summary
Despite VMware's big lead, competition in the hypervisor space is vigorous these days. Microsoft is using their heft to drive Hyper-V into their sizeable installed base. Commercial and open source Xen and KVM variants give customers alternatives that are technically sophisticated and also available as fully supported packages.

Our survey clearly shows that rather than selecting a single hypervisor and virtualization suite provider, customers are picking and choosing what they feel are the best tools for their unique needs. The more competition we have in this or any other market, the better the resulting products. Go here if you are interested in seeing more details on our report.

More Stories By Dan Olds

Dan Olds is Founding Principal, Gabriel Consulting Group. He has proven himself to be someone who understands both business and technology and, more importantly, how technology can be applied to solve business problems. He has been in the high tech arena for 15 years; he held significant positions at Cray, Sun Microsystems, and IBM prior to founding Gabriel Consulting Group in 2001. This varied background gives Dan insight into how technology can be used to make business more efficient, effective, and profitable.

Dan was one of the first technologists to closely study IT Total Cost of Ownership, virtualization, and server consolidation. With Gabriel Consulting Group, he has completed a number of groundbreaking studies on these industry trends and their impact on operational efficiency. He closely follows advancements in high performance computing, software, and worldwide technology development.

Dan is a frequent speaker at industry events, and he contributes articles to technology publications. He has been quoted widely in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Bloomberg News, Computerworld, eWeek, InformationWeek, CNET, and a host of other tech news sources.

Dan's formal education is in business; he earned an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business with concentrations in Finance and Marketing.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Cloud Expo Latest Stories
14th International Cloud Expo, held on June 10–12, 2014 at the Javits Center in New York City, featured three content-packed days with a rich array of sessions about the business and technical value of cloud computing, Internet of Things, Big Data, and DevOps led by exceptional speakers from every sector of the IT ecosystem. The Cloud Expo series is the fastest-growing Enterprise IT event in the past 10 years, devoted to every aspect of delivering massively scalable enterprise IT as a service.
As more applications and services move "to the cloud" (public or on-premise) cloud environments are increasingly adopting and building out traditional enterprise features. This in turn is enabling and encouraging cloud adoption from enterprise users. In many ways the definition is blurring as features like continuous operation, geo-distribution or on-demand capacity become the norm. NuoDB is involved in both building enterprise software and using enterprise cloud capabilities. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Seth Proctor, CTO at NuoDB, Inc., will discuss the experiences from building, deploying and using enterprise services and suggest some ways to approach moving enterprise applications into a cloud model.
Until recently, many organizations required specialized departments to perform mapping and geospatial analysis, and they used Esri on-premise solutions for that work. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Dave Peters, author of the Esri Press book Building a GIS, System Architecture Design Strategies for Managers, will discuss how Esri has successfully included the cloud as a fully integrated SaaS expansion of the ArcGIS mapping platform. Organizations that have incorporated Esri cloud-based applications and content within their business models are reaping huge benefits by directly leveraging cloud-based mapping and analysis capabilities within their existing enterprise investments. The ArcGIS mapping platform includes cloud-based content management and information resources to more widely, efficiently, and affordably deliver real-time actionable information and analysis capabilities to your organization.
In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mark Hinkle, Senior Director, Open Source Solutions at Citrix Systems Inc., will provide overview of the open source software that can be used to deploy and manage a cloud computing environment. He will include information on storage, networking(e.g., OpenDaylight) and compute virtualization (Xen, KVM, LXC) and the orchestration(Apache CloudStack, OpenStack) of the three to build their own cloud services. Speaker Bio: Mark Hinkle is the Senior Director, Open Source Solutions, at Citrix Systems Inc. He joined Citrix as a result of their July 2011 acquisition of Cloud.com where he was their Vice President of Community. He is currently responsible for Citrix open source efforts around the open source cloud computing platform, Apache CloudStack and the Xen Hypervisor. Previously he was the VP of Community at Zenoss Inc., a producer of the open source application, server, and network management software, where he grew the Zenoss Core project to over 10...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mac Devine, Distinguished Engineer at IBM, will discuss bringing these three elements together via Systems of Discover.
Cloud and Big Data present unique dilemmas: embracing the benefits of these new technologies while maintaining the security of your organization’s assets. When an outside party owns, controls and manages your infrastructure and computational resources, how can you be assured that sensitive data remains private and secure? How do you best protect data in mixed use cloud and big data infrastructure sets? Can you still satisfy the full range of reporting, compliance and regulatory requirements? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Derek Tumulak, Vice President of Product Management at Vormetric, will discuss how to address data security in cloud and Big Data environments so that your organization isn’t next week’s data breach headline.
The cloud is everywhere and growing, and with it SaaS has become an accepted means for software delivery. SaaS is more than just a technology, it is a thriving business model estimated to be worth around $53 billion dollars by 2015, according to IDC. The question is – how do you build and scale a profitable SaaS business model? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Jason Cumberland, Vice President, SaaS Solutions at Dimension Data, will give the audience an understanding of common mistakes businesses make when transitioning to SaaS; how to avoid them; and how to build a profitable and scalable SaaS business.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridstore delivers vmOptimized™ Storage that self-optimizes to each application or VM across both virtual and physical environments. Leveraging a grid architecture, Gridstore delivers the first end-to-end storage QoS to ensure the most important App or VM performance is never compromised. The storage grid, that uses Gridstore’s performance optimized nodes or capacity optimized nodes, starts with as few a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Solgenia, the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Solgenia is the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions. Designed to “Bridge the Gap” between personal and professional social, mobile and cloud user experiences, our solutions help large and medium-sized organizations dramatically improve productivity, reduce collaboration costs, and increase the overall enterprise value by bringing collaboration and infrastructure solutions to the cloud.
Cloud computing started a technology revolution; now DevOps is driving that revolution forward. By enabling new approaches to service delivery, cloud and DevOps together are delivering even greater speed, agility, and efficiency. No wonder leading innovators are adopting DevOps and cloud together! In his session at DevOps Summit, Andi Mann, Vice President of Strategic Solutions at CA Technologies, will explore the synergies in these two approaches, with practical tips, techniques, research data, war stories, case studies, and recommendations.
Enterprises require the performance, agility and on-demand access of the public cloud, and the management, security and compatibility of the private cloud. The solution? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Simone Brunozzi, VP and Chief Technologist(global role) for VMware, will explore how to unlock the power of the hybrid cloud and the steps to get there. He'll discuss the challenges that conventional approaches to both public and private cloud computing, and outline the tough decisions that must be made to accelerate the journey to the hybrid cloud. As part of the transition, an Infrastructure-as-a-Service model will enable enterprise IT to build services beyond their data center while owning what gets moved, when to move it, and for how long. IT can then move forward on what matters most to the organization that it supports – availability, agility and efficiency.
Every healthy ecosystem is diverse. This is especially true in cloud ecosystems, where portability and interoperability are more important than old enterprise models of proprietary ownership. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mark Baker, Server Product Manager at Canonical/Ubuntu, will discuss how single vendors used to take the lead in creating and delivering technology, but in a cloud economy, where users want tools of their preference, when and where they need them, it makes no sense.
The 15th International Cloud Expo has just expanded its conference program, to bring together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC at one location. Cloud Expo is the single show where delegates and technology vendors can meet to experience and discuss the entire world of the cloud. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to learn about the latest technology developments and solutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare Corporation, a leading enabler of smart connected systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Bsquare is a global leader of embedded software solutions. We enable smart connected systems at the device level and beyond that millions use every day and provide actionable data solutions for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market. We empower our world-class customers with our products, services and solutions to achieve innovation and success.
SYS-CON Events announced today that NuoDB, Inc., the leader in webscale distributed database technology, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NuoDB was launched in 2010 by industry-renowned database architect Jim Starkey and accomplished software CEO Barry Morris to deliver a webscale distributed database management system that is specifically designed for the cloud and the modern datacenter.