VMware still leader in x86 Infrastructure Virtualization

Gartner published their magic quadrant again for x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure. VMware again came out as the number 1 company in infrastructure virtualization.

The number of installed server VMs and containers has nearly doubled in the past year as competition improves, virtualization adoption expands, the midmarket heats up, desktop virtualization drives more workloads to servers and workloads are deployed by cloud computing providers.

The magic quadrant by Gartner shows VMware being the number 1 company in x86 Infrastructure Virtualization, followed by Microsoft and Citrix .


As of mid-2011, at least 40% of x86 architecture workloads have been virtualized on servers; furthermore, the installed base is expected to grow five-fold from 2010 through 2015 (as both the number of workloads in the marketplace grow and as penetration grows to more than 75%). A rapidly growing number of midmarket enterprises are virtualizing for the first time, and have several strong alternatives from which to choose. Virtual machine (VM) and operating system (OS) software container technologies are being used as the foundational elements for infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud computing offerings and for private cloud deployments. x86 server virtualization infrastructure is not a commodity market. While migration from one technology to another is certainly possible, the earlier that choice is made, the better, in terms of cost, skills and processes. Although virtualization can offer an immediate and tactical return on investment (ROI), virtualization is an extremely strategic foundation for infrastructure modernization, improving the speed and quality of IT services, and migrating to hybrid and public cloud computing.

For the entire article go to the Gartner post over here.

Use SCOPE approach with server virtualization

Starting server virtualization is always a difficult task to begin with. First thing you need to deside is which servers you want to virtualize (Well some pointers in that direction : all of them!). But with all difficult tasks you need to take a structured approach. Business isn’t  waiting for you to bring down their critical applications. Therefor approach it one step at a time. This gives you the structured approach you need, slowly entering the learning curve of virtualization and giving your IT department the time to adapt to all virtualization technologies.

I would always advice to use a capacity planning tool for your “physical” server environmen, before beginning to start server virtualization. Tools like VMware Capacity Planner and Novell Platespin PowerRecon give you a good insight in what the workloads are on your physical servers. This will then be presented to you in a report with an advice for the most optimal virtual workload distribution across your “yet to be build” virtual infrastructure.

Besides these technical tools, you can also use SCOPE. A conceptual tool by Danielle Ruest and Nelson Ruest. SCOPE lets you quickly identify which workloads to start with. Begin in the lab, maybe even with the lab machines themselves, and slowly move your virtual workloads into production.


SCOPE is the step-by-step approach to virtualize your complete environment. So virtualize your environment in the following steps :

  1. Easy workloads; Servers that don’t consume a large workload and can be easily virtualized.
  2. Production workloads; Server used by users on a day-to-day business but that aren’t critical to your line of business
  3. Operational workloads; These server are mainly used by the IT department itself. Servers which demand a high workload but aren’t business critical
  4. Complex workloads; Server that are, already without virtualization, complex to maintain. These includes the servers which have common applications installed on them in mostly enabled with clustering / load balancing.
  5. Special workload; Each IT infrastructue has those servers which require special attention. When finishing the virtualization of your complete IT infrastructure, these servers will finish the job.

So as you can see, SCOPE gives you a five step approach to virtualizing your IT infrastructure. This will hopefully help you in creating a good virtualization strategy!

More information you can find here.

Microsoft Virtualization Products Explained

Virtualization Solutions

 I’m always looking for material to help other people understand what virtualization is all about. Came across this document by Mitch Tulloch of the Microsoft Virtualization Team. It isa nice PDF document about the different types of infrastructure virtualization solutions (based upon Microsoft technologies ofcourse) and is written in such a style that everybody can understand it. So if your looking for information about virtualization and are new to it, please have a look at this document. Ofcourse it’s also usefull for all you virtualizaton geeks as a reference to all the Microsoft Virtualization products.

 Your can find the document here

Cloud Computing Explained

rPath created a video for everybody who is as confused as I was when I first heard the term “cloud computing”. It explains cloud computing in plain english (as they state it). But also give you an explanation on how buzz words like virtualization, utility computing and software-as-a-service correlate to cloud computing.

Well get yourself a nice bucket of popcorn and enjoy!