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- While VMware remains the market share leader in the server virtualization market, competitors have emerged with attractive alternatives, making it all the more important to evaluate all alternatives.
- Server virtualization, for many organizations, is moving beyond basic consolidation into a more managed virtual environment, which is where differentiation among vendors really begins.
- Focus on business requirements. The first step in selecting a server virtualization vendor is to determine the functionality that your organization requires to meet the business needs, or to justify an investment in server virtualization.
- Consider future requirements. VMware leads innovation around building a utility infrastructure (or internal cloud). However, Citrix also has a clear vision for future development, and Microsoft is now moving beyond basic internal cloud functionality. If current or future needs involve internal cloud, VMware & Citrix are safe choices.
- Go for good enough. Align current and future requirements with the capabilities and solution feature-sets of vendors. While VMware is the market leader, its higher cost makes it critical to assess whether an alternative vendor can meet your organization’s needs.
Impact and Result
- Virtualization first-timers should start with free hypervisors to achieve basic server partitioning and consolidation, and to gain experience with virtualization.
- Management tools come at a price but are needed to take virtualization efforts to a higher level (e.g. disaster recovery goals).
- Vendors eventually want to lead enterprises up the path to the cloud; server virtualization is a key enabler of cloud initiatives.
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