Part of Wikibon's 2012 vSphere 5 User Survey
Wikibon recently conducted what has become an annual survey of vSphere users in an effort to determine the state of the virtualization market and to determine how organizations are deploying, configuring, and managing virtual environments. This year, we added questions regarding the specific hypervisor products in use in organizations. While the single data point derived from the answers to these first-year questions cannot identify a clear trend, the results are interesting nonetheless.
First, a bit of background regarding the survey and the results. We asked questions regarding hypervisor products in use. Specifically, we requested that respondents provide answers to questions regarding non-VMware hypervisor products that are in use in the organization. As a VMware-focused survey, the underlying assumption is that all responding organizations are running VMware and may or may not be running an additional hypervisor.
We had 158 respondents, all running VMware. As the current market leader, it’s no shock to hear that respondents are using the product. However, what is quite surprising is the number of responding organizations that are running other hypervisors in addition.
Key takeaway: Most responding organizations (56%) are running one or more additional hypervisors in addition to VMware. Only 43% of responding organization are running VMware alone.
What we don’t know yet is how these organizations have deployed secondary hypervisor products. Are they in production? Or, have organizations limited their use to test and development environments?
From a product perspective, Hyper-V enjoys a relatively significant 6 percentage point lead as the secondary product of choice in organizations running more than just VMware. In fact, 40% of such organizations are using Hyper-V, compared to 34% using Citrix. The chart to the left shows you how the numbers break down. KVM, Oracle and other products make up 26% of the secondary hypervisors in use.
Don’t interpret this information to mean that Hyper-V has a 40% market share. Instead, look at it this way: Of the responding organizations that have one or more hypervisors in house in addition to VMware, 40% of them are running Hyper-V. And since this survey focuses on VMware users, these figures do not include organizations that do not use VMware at all, including those that standardize completely on Hyper-V or Citrix.
I want to reiterate that no specific direction can be obtained by looking at this simple one-year data point snapshot for what may not be a representative sample size. That said, the information does lend itself to some potential interpretations:
- Most virtualized organizations are testing the waters with other products. Again, 56% of respondents are running a second hypervisor in addition to VMware. This could be interpreted as meaning that VMware’s stranglehold on the virtualization market is loosening.
- Hyper-V is becoming a serious contender. Hyper-V has been sneaking up on VMware for quite some time and, according to respondents, is second only to VMware itself. With the pending release of Hyper-V 2012 with features that significantly shrink the gap between Hyper-V and vSphere, this could position Hyper-V in a prime position to grow as enterprises begin to see it as an adequate solution to meet their needs.
- Multiplatform management tools are important. With so many organizations running multiple hypervisor products, the ability to abstract hypervisor management is increasingly important. In short, tools that can manage multiple hypervisor products from a single console will help most virtualized organizations more easily manage their heterogeneous environments.
Action Item: Although VMware will remain a powerful force for most CIOs considering the future of their virtual environments, CIOs should not be afraid to consider alternative options. There is ample company for organizations running 2, 3 and even 4 different hypervisors. CIOs should feel comfortable testing all options in order to ensure that the hypervisor choice meets both technical needs as well as budgetary ones.