Multiple Hypervisor Strategies

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of respondent organizations reported using more than one hypervisor. The multiple hypervisor model is here to stay and is on the rise. If, how, and when IT embraces a more robust management strategy is still TBD.

In 2013, ESG fully expects that server virtualization will remain a top priority of many IT organizations and of vendor go to market strategies. But, what was once a one horse hypervisor race has truly become a climb up a management stack that takes advantage of virtualization at multiple tiers.

To obtain a better understanding of hypervisor usage trends going forward, ESG researched and published an ESG research brief, Multiple Hypervisor Usage Trends. The results show a profound interest in and usage of multiple hypervisor deployments. Nearly-two thirds (65%) of respondent organizations reported using more than one hypervisor.

While there are a few examples I can point to where IT organizations are making a wholesale switch from one hypervisor to another, the majority of scenarios I see are IT maintaining their investment in its primary platform for the time being and starting to onboard an additional hypervisor for different application workloads, licensing/ cost reduction--by phasing out legacy products--or for the advanced technology capabilities of one solution over the other.

VMware has blazed a well-groomed trail over the past five plus years, but is now faced with more market pressure than the company has ever experienced. The introduction of Microsoft Windows Server 2012 in the market has certainly captured the attention of many IT organizations including the ones that are heavily invested in VMware.

IT organizations should explore their options and discover how and where multiple hypervisors will match its performance, reliability, and economic goals. Since most IT organizations are still extremely focused on consolidation and cost containment, they will discover that many hypervisor solutions in the market can meet their needs. When IT starts getting more serious about automating manual tasks and managing systems, they are going to be faced with the harder decision about which management tools to research, obtain training on, and adopt into their organization.

The multiple hypervisor model is here to stay and is on the rise. If, how, and when IT embraces a more robust management strategy is still TBD.

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