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Vendor Landscape Plus: Server Virtualization

Enable server efficiency and cost savings from consolidation to internal cloud.

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  • The Borough of Freehold Public Schools
  • Boston Pizza
  • Dillon Consulting Limited
  • Farm Credit Services Central Illinois
  • Horsley Bridge
  • Intermountain Electronics
  • Management Concepts Inc
  • Vinfen Corporation
  • WEC Health Unit

Your Challenge

  • 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.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • 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.

Research & Tools

1. Narrow down a list of server virtualization vendors

Develop a virtualized infrastructure that will meet current and future requirements.

2. Estimate potential cost savings for consolidation

Determine if server virtualization is a worthwhile investment.

3. Compare leading vendors and develop a shortlist

Narrow the leading vendors down to the most appropriate few.

4. Contrast and evaluate a shortlist of vendors

Select the right server virtualization vendor.

5. Compare hardware and virtualization software scenarios

Balance maximum capacity with lowest TCO.

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