As good as virtualization has been to the channel in terms of creating new opportunities, the fact that one company has so dominated the landscape has limited the scope of that opportunity. After all, there has to be two or more strong players in an industry category to create opportunities tied to cross-platform integration. And without those integration opportunities solution providers in the channel can pretty much expect to find themselves reselling low-margin products versus delivering high-margin services.
So it’s with a sense of relief that solution providers should greet the news that a new survey of 250 IT professionals conducted by Information Technology Intelligence Corp. (ITIC) on behalf of Stratus Technologies, find that Microsoft is finally gaining ground on VMware. The survey finds a 20 percent increase in Hyper-V adoption year over year, with 53 percent reporting that they now use Hyper-V compared with 56 percent for VMware.
Obviously, usage of VMware is still significant higher in terms of volume. But Microsoft has been leveraging its channel relationships to drive adoption of its Hyper-V virtual machine platform in small-to-medium (SMB) organizations. In addition, Microsoft Hyper-V is basically a feature of Windows Server 2008 Release 2, which to a lot of IT organizations means that Hyper-V is essentially free.
Over time, solution providers can also expect to see virtual machines such as Xen and others also carve out a solid niche, all of which will have to be holistically managed. That’s good news for solution providers because it creates interoperability opportunities for solution providers.
Perhaps better still, the new survey also finds that IT organizations are planning on deploying more business critical applications on virtual servers, which means solution providers can count on the fact that those IT organizations are going to be looking for faster physical servers to support the latest generation of virtual machines.
All in all, that means that as far as the channel is concerned virtualization is the cusp of entering a new phase that should generate more revenue and profits for the channel than ever.Tags: virtual servers, channel, solution providers, Hyper-V, VMware, Microsoft, virtual machine, virtualization