Click here to close now.


Microservices Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Chris Witeck

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Open Source Cloud, @CloudExpo, Cloud Security

Containers Expo Blog: Article

‘Hypervisity’ Rages On

Competition in the hypervisor space is vigorous these days

We've tracked a trend for the past several years: customers aren't moving to standardize on a single brand or type of server, operating system, or even x86 hypervisor. But, in our in fifth annual x86 Data Center Survey (2011-‘12 edition), we were somewhat surprised to find that customers were using a wide range of different hypervisors to a greater extent than we anticipated.

The total number of respondents in our survey was 345, with 40% of respondents in mid-size and large organizations of 4,000 employees and above. This was a global survey; 46% of respondents hailed from Europe, 40% from North America, and 11% from Asia/Pacific. Respondents came from our Gabriel Consulting Group survey data base of previous participants and from targeted advertising.

Just over 80% of the IT shops in our survey are using VMware on at least some systems in their infrastructures. The company held roughly the same percentage of usage in both the 2009-'10 and 2011-'12 editions of our survey.

While VMware is the most prevalent, the company doesn't have a lock on the enterprise hypervisor market; other mechanisms are getting plenty of use as well.

Microsoft's Hyper-V product is the second most widely used hypervisor - around 40% of our enterprise data center respondents use it on at least some systems. This percentage has held roughly steady over both survey periods.

The major Xen variants from Citrix and Oracle are used by 32% and 21% of our survey respondents, respectively. These percentages are virtually the same in both our 2009-'10 survey and in our latest 2011-'12 edition.

The only virtualization mechanism showing growth overall is KVM, which moved from 31% to 33% prevalence in our two surveys. This clearly isn't a huge jump, but it's more than we've seen for other solutions.

Standardization of Hypervisor Platforms
Looking beyond which virtualization types are used, next we analyzed standardization on a particular hypervisor technology. We were able to trend this data as well. Again, VMware dominated but we detected more customers committing to KVM and Hyper-V as their "go-to" hypervisor technology. Let's review the numbers.

VMware has become slightly stronger in terms of being the standard virtualization solution for our enterprise data respondents, moving from 55% to 57%. But the magnitude of VMware's sizeable lead obscures the moves in the back of the pack.

We examined the same data, but with VMware removed to more clearly highlight the changes in standardization rate among the other hypervisors.

Customers standardizing on Oracle's version of Xen moved from 2% to 3% during the two survey periods. For Citrix Xen, we see a small drop from 4% to 3%. Both of these changes are probably due to differences in the survey respondent bases.

But when it comes to KVM and Microsoft's Hyper-V, we do think that we're seeing real growth. The number of customers who use Hyper-V as their standard solution more than doubled, moving from 3% to almost 8%. KVM also saw its customer standardization rates double from 3% to 6%.

Examining KVM's Growth
In fact, KVM is the only hypervisor in our last two surveys to notch gains in both the number of overall users and in the number of users adopting it as their standard go-to hypervisor.

These are modest gains to be sure, with overall usage increasing by 2% and standardizers growing from 3% to 6%.

While this isn't what we'd call "house on fire" growth, it's certainly a positive development for KVM and, given other KVM-related activities, might signal the beginning of a growth spurt.

We believe KVM capabilities have come a long way in the past several years, with support for a wide range of Linux, Windows, and even Unix guest operating systems. KVM also provides some of the most popular features of VMware and Xen, like live migration and the ability to host large (up to 16 CPU) SMP guest instances.

It's noteworthy that KVM is different from the others in a couple of crucial ways. It's the only hypervisor that's actually part of Linux and it uses the Linux scheduler and memory manager. Both VMware and Xen are external hypervisors and therefore need to have control mechanisms for the entire system, making them larger and more complex.

Despite VMware's big lead, competition in the hypervisor space is vigorous these days. Microsoft is using their heft to drive Hyper-V into their sizeable installed base. Commercial and open source Xen and KVM variants give customers alternatives that are technically sophisticated and also available as fully supported packages.

Our survey clearly shows that rather than selecting a single hypervisor and virtualization suite provider, customers are picking and choosing what they feel are the best tools for their unique needs. The more competition we have in this or any other market, the better the resulting products. Go here if you are interested in seeing more details on our report.

More Stories By Dan Olds

Dan Olds is Founding Principal, Gabriel Consulting Group. He has proven himself to be someone who understands both business and technology and, more importantly, how technology can be applied to solve business problems. He has been in the high tech arena for 15 years; he held significant positions at Cray, Sun Microsystems, and IBM prior to founding Gabriel Consulting Group in 2001. This varied background gives Dan insight into how technology can be used to make business more efficient, effective, and profitable.

Dan was one of the first technologists to closely study IT Total Cost of Ownership, virtualization, and server consolidation. With Gabriel Consulting Group, he has completed a number of groundbreaking studies on these industry trends and their impact on operational efficiency. He closely follows advancements in high performance computing, software, and worldwide technology development.

Dan is a frequent speaker at industry events, and he contributes articles to technology publications. He has been quoted widely in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Bloomberg News, Computerworld, eWeek, InformationWeek, CNET, and a host of other tech news sources.

Dan's formal education is in business; he earned an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business with concentrations in Finance and Marketing.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing & protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection & E-Discovery of your data - whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise.
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNu...
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, San...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a global leader in monitoring, and testing the performance of online applications, has been named "Silver Sponsor" of DevOps Summit New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016 at the Javits Center in New York City. Catchpoint radically transforms the way businesses manage, monitor, and test the performance of online applications. Truly understand and improve user experience with clear visibility into complex, distributed online systems.Founde...
In today's enterprise, digital transformation represents organizational change even more so than technology change, as customer preferences and behavior drive end-to-end transformation across lines of business as well as IT. To capitalize on the ubiquitous disruption driving this transformation, companies must be able to innovate at an increasingly rapid pace. Traditional approaches for driving innovation are now woefully inadequate for keeping up with the breadth of disruption and change facin...
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
You may have heard about the pets vs. cattle discussion – a reference to the way application servers are deployed in the cloud native world. If an application server goes down it can simply be dropped from the mix and a new server added in its place. The practice so far has mostly been applied to application deployments. Management software on the other hand is treated in a very special manner. Dedicated resources are set aside to run the management software components and several alerting syst...
Most of the IoT Gateway scenarios involve collecting data from machines/processing and pushing data upstream to cloud for further analytics. The gateway hardware varies from Raspberry Pi to Industrial PCs. The document states the process of allowing deploying polyglot data pipelining software with the clear notion of supporting immutability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Shashank Jain, a development architect for SAP Labs, discussed the objective, which is to automate the IoT deployment proces...
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
Naturally, new and exciting technologies and trends like software defined networking, the Internet of Things and the cloud tend to get the lion’s share of attention these days, including when it comes to security. However, it’s important to never forget that at the center of it all is still the enterprise network. And as evidenced by the ever-expanding landslide of data breaches that could have been prevented or at least their impact lessened by better practicing network security basics, it’s ...
This morning on #c9d9 we spoke with two industry veterans and published authors - James DeLuccia and Jonathan McAllister - on how to bake-in security and compliance into your DevOps processes, and how DevOps and automation can essentially help you pass your next audit.
Put the word continuous in front of many things and we help define DevOps: continuous delivery, continuous testing, continuous assessment, and there is more. The next BriefingsDirect DevOps thought leadership discussion explores the concept of continuous processes around the development and deployment of applications and systems. Put the word continuous in front of many things and we help define DevOps: continuous delivery, continuous testing, continuous assessment, and there is more.
In his General Session at DevOps Summit, Asaf Yigal, Co-Founder & VP of Product at, explored the value of Kibana 4 for log analysis and provided a hands-on tutorial on how to set up Kibana 4 and get the most out of Apache log files. He examined three use cases: IT operations, business intelligence, and security and compliance. Asaf Yigal is co-founder and VP of Product at log analytics software company In the past, he was co-founder of social-trading platform Currensee, which...
It's been a busy time for tech's ongoing infatuation with containers. Amazon just announced EC2 Container Registry to simply container management. The new Azure container service taps into Microsoft's partnership with Docker and Mesosphere. You know when there's a standard for containers on the table there's money on the table, too. Everyone is talking containers because they reduce a ton of development-related challenges and make it much easier to move across production and testing environm...
The annual holiday shopping season, which started on Thanksgiving weekend and runs through the end of December, is undoubtedly the most crucial time of the year for many eCommerce websites, with sales from this period having a dramatic effect on the year-end bottom line. Web performance – or, the overall speed and availability of a website or mobile site – is an issue year-round, but it takes on increased importance during the holidays. Ironically, it is at this time of year that networks and i...
Hiring the wrong candidate can cost a company hundreds of thousands of dollars, and result in lost profit and productivity during the search for a replacement. In fact, the Harvard Business Review has found that as much as 80 percent of turnover is caused by bad hiring decisions. But when your organization has implemented DevOps, the job is about more than just technical chops. It’s also about core behaviors: how they work with others, how they make decisions, and how those decisions translate t...
People want to get going with DevOps or Continuous Delivery, but need a place to start. Others are already on their way, but need some validation of their choices. A few months ago, I published the first volume of DevOps and Continuous Delivery reference architectures which has now been viewed over 50,000 times on SlideShare (it's free to registration required). Three things helped people in the deck: (1) the reference architectures, (2) links to the sources for each architectur...
Countless business models have spawned from the IaaS industry – resell Web hosting, blogs, public cloud, and on and on. With the overwhelming amount of tools available to us, it's sometimes easy to overlook that many of them are just new skins of resources we've had for a long time. In his general session at 17th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, an IBM Company, broke down what we have to work with, discussed the benefits and pitfalls and how we can best use them ...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
One of the most important tenets of digital transformation is that it’s customer-driven. In fact, the only reason technology is involved at all is because today’s customers demand technology-based interactions with the companies they do business with. It’s no surprise, therefore, that we at Intellyx agree with Patrick Maes, CTO, ANZ Bank, when he said, “the fundamental element in digital transformation is extreme customer centricity.” So true – but note the insightful twist that Maes adde...