One of the more amazing aspects of the virtualization market is that everybody is talking about it, but few are actually using it. Recent research indicates that only about 6 percent of data centers have deployed any type of virtualization at all. Some of this is no doubt due to the cost. Even if you can recoup it over time, there still needs to be enough in the budget to get up and running in the first place.
But we suspect an even more fundamental force is at work here. Maybe the industry at large hasn't bought into the various reasons being used to justify virtualization. Server consolidation is a noble idea, but smaller, low-power designs are already helping to alleviate space and power crunches. Meanwhile, users are starting to wake up to the management and performance issues that still need to be addressed.
For the moment, though, vendors seem bent on getting virtualization into working environments, if only to demonstrate what can be accomplished through what some are calling the "virtual ecosystem." And it appears that the workhorse of this effort will not be the partitioning software designed to make the most of server hardware, but the virtual appliance pre-built with an OS, traffic management, security, e-mail and collaboration capabilities.
Will any of this be enough to boost the adoption rate in the coming year? Possibly, but only if the technology can successfully make the transition from the "gee whiz" phase to a practical, cost-effective solution.