Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: Harry Trott, Rishi Bhargava, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan

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.

Summary
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.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Onalytica. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to impr...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, drew together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established compa...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
We are always online. We access our data, our finances, work, and various services on the Internet. But we live in a congested world of information in which the roads were built two decades ago. The quest for better, faster Internet routing has been around for a decade, but nobody solved this problem. We’ve seen band-aid approaches like CDNs that attack a niche's slice of static content part of the Internet, but that’s it. It does not address the dynamic services-based Internet of today. It does...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...