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x86 vs Unix Server Virtualization report: Some analysis this

Well, this Ideas guy has been *sniffing* around datacenters and came up with this conclusion, sort of.

How virtualization is actually implemented is generally split between x86 and UNIX servers. According to Iams, x86 virtualization is typically driven by large-scale consolidation - where a business has several fixed workload servers and want to stack them on virtual machines to have fewer boxes to maintain.

Unix virtualization, on the other hand, is driven by workload management and utilization. Where previously the IT staff would buy a large server configured for the peak workload of an application, virtualization allows the resources to be dynamically changed based on demand without shutting it down.

Well , not entirely true though, the X86 market is very seriously looking at the resource scheduling, workload management etc. How do you explain a startup like VMware become a $10 billion giant? They are the software makers of x86 virtualization. Actually VMware ought to bring their virtualization software to Unix market as well, they won't have any threat from the likes of Microsoft; the Unix server market would be thrilled to have them as nobody would want to go to Linux or Windows; and virtualization will finally get into serious HPC.

Iams said he was surprised by how often Ideas ran across businesses running Microsoft Virtual Server, and also how many were pleased with it. The research firm found that while often businesses were turned off by the heavyweight Windows OS host and lack of manageability, they also found the software matched the maturity of the organization. Many weren't yet ready to use the advanced features of more robust virtual software such as VMWare, but expect Microsoft to fill in the holes later - which is when the business would take the plunge as well. Iams noted the faith of many respondents in the interoperability of virtualization software. The consensus was that if Microsoft doesn't eventually deliver, they will be able to switch between virtual disk files.
Unbelievable! Kudos to the sales aggression of Microsoft though, and this is again a clear reminder that VMware is operating on Microsoft's turf when it comes to consolidating x86 server market. Also very strange how those customers choose to express their satisfaction on the product (
also how many were pleased with it
), which by the way is one thing and yet be "hopeful" that Microsoft will someday deliver. It does indeed show that their faith in interoperability, which is something where Xen and other Linux virtualization vendors too are banking on, will also give the whole virtualization industry a reason too work on the interoperability.

Ideas found customers were generally hesitant about implementing XenSource. Overall, there were concerns about the requirements for customized kernel and lack of commercial support. The stigma of open source is still a hurtle(?) for Xen to overcome as well. Companies remain reluctant to implement software when they don't see a company behind to hold accountable.
This is complete balderdash, XenSource competes on performance with VMware, it does have a solid company behind it, if there is any company that needs to be taken seriously in the x86 virtualization market, then I would bet on XenSource.

All in all, this really isn't much of an analysis. They didn't talk about:

  • Security
  • Numbers (VMware vs XenSource vs Virtual Iron vs Virtuozzo etc)
  • Services architecture
  • Performance
Basically they didn't speak to any of the customers who are seriously running virtualization (in both Unix and x86) in production! I guess most of the customers have just installed virtualization and have done nothing with it (besides probably testing notepad, wordpad on it)! Here is the link , if you still wish to see it and here's the firm Ideas International.


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