The Rapid Evolution in Virtualization Arena

By CIOReview | Tuesday, January 17, 2017
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The technological jargon ‘virtualization’ has achieved a firm grasp in organizations for quite a while. As the trend is reaching its core, the virtualization solutions markets are facing a tremendous evolution as well. According to Gartner, the worldwide server virtualization market is reaching at its peak. The virtualization trends among organizations keep varying, and are becoming one of the most important as well as widely used technologies. As the solution plays a dominant role in IT cost savings and ROI, soon the market is expected to see a saturation point, where small and medium businesses will also leverage the power of virtualization. A recent press release by Gartner states that the worldwide 32-bit server virtualization market is expected to reach $5.6 billion in 2016. The report also states that despite the overall market increase, new software licenses have been declined for the first time since this market became a mainstream more than a decade ago.

Even though the virtualization market was dominated by VMware, the entry of tech giants like Microsoft into the market has strengthened the competition. As Microsoft developed solutions specifically targeting enterprises, the market curve started bending to the Microsoft side. Michael Warrilow, research director at Gartner, said: “The market has matured rapidly over the last few years, with many organizations having server virtualization rates that exceed 75 percent, illustrating the high level of penetration.” In addition to this, the IDC WW Quarterly Server Virtualization Tracker reports also indicate the rise of the Microsoft Hyper-V in the market.

The rapid rise in Software Defined Infrastructures and Hyperconverged Integrated Systems are building up pressure on Virtualization vendors, propelling them to offer more developed and advanced solutions. The introduction of these systems has also largely affected the market share of virtualization due to their innovative features and greater savings on ROI.

Technology Insights

Virtualization enables the complete utilization of resources through logical segments, rather than a physical infrastructure. A virtualization application efficiently creates a logical software-based view of the hardware and other resources, for efficient management and allocation. The virtualization trend traces back to the 1960s. As part of the latest development in virtualization technology, the hypervisors were introduced.  A hypervisor, also known as virtual machine monitor is an application that creates and runs virtual machine, with a virtual operating platform, for ease of management and cost saving in organizations. The hypervisor can abstract, isolate operating systems and applications from the underlying computer hardware.

Solutions

Throughout the recent decade, VMware was the leading virtualization solutions provider. Soon after the introduction of Microsoft Hyper-V, the market is facing a rapid change. As the competition is getting stronger, the providers are also developing sophisticated technologies like OS container and cloud based virtualization to reduce administrative burdens. Not only VMware and Microsoft, but also Oracle VM VirtualBox and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization are also runners-up in the virtualization race.

While according to VMWare, the VSphere is a free bare-metal hypervisor that virtualizes servers so the user can consolidate applications on less hardware. The solution comes with a built-in management tool for easy creation and provisioning of virtual machines. The Storage Usage Efficiency function efficiently over-allocates storage resources beyond the actual capacity of the physical storage, while the Advanced Memory Management Over-commit memory resource optimizes the performance of memory resources. The solution also offers hardened drivers through partnerships with independent hardware vendors for high reliability ensuring optimal performance.

According to Microsoft, the Hyper-V role enables creating and managing a virtualized computing environment by using virtualization technology built in to Windows Server. Installing the Hyper-V role installs the required components and optionally installs management tools. The built-in dynamic memory assists in consolidating resources for improved reliability of virtual machines.

The Oracle VM is Oracle’s hypervisor technology that is completely based on the Xen open source. Even though designed with simplicity in focus, the Oracle VM lacks many advanced features common to other prominent hypervisors. The development cycle of Oracle VM is longer and limited with XenServer, making the competition stronger with VMware and Hyper-V. As Oracle hypervisor is certified with most of the other products from the firm, it offers seamless support with Oracle products.

While virtualization’s popularity shows no sign of slowing down and continues to remain as one of the most widely used infrastructure platform, analysts believe that the new computing techniques and approaches will make a great impact in the virtualization market. The new trends will cover most of the modern techniques including OS container-based virtualization.