Virtualisation sales have been dented by the recession proving that no markets are immune to the economic maelstrom, but a massive refresh pending in the server market should give resellers a reason to be cheerful.
Server sales have dived this year as companies delayed replacing ageing infrastructures and virtualisation, which had been tipped as almost recession proof, saw an 18.7% drop in Q2 global revenues to $344m.
According to IDC, 16.5% of all servers shipped in the quarter were virtualised, up from 14.5% a year ago and the market continues to shift toward paid hypervisors, now running on 60.8% of new shipments.
“In the second quarter IDC observed a number of signs indicating that stability is beginning to take hold in the worldwide server market,” said Matt Eastwood, IDC group vice president for the enterprise group.
“The worldwide server installed base has aged significantly and virtual machine densities on these systems have increased sharply over the past year. As a result the market is poised for the beginning of a significant infrastructure refresh cycle.”
Only last week rival market watcher Gartner said 1 million servers due to be swapped out this year had been put on the back burner by businesses while an additional 1 million is due to be replaced in 2010.
In server consolidation projects, virtualisation has changed forever the way customers manage their data centres, becoming the “default” model when deploying new servers.
However, IDC research vice president Michelle Bailey said the “next phase of virtualisation will require a reinvention of IT policies and procedures and continued adoption of automation tools will be key as virtual machine densities rise and customers find themselves facing virtual server sprawls”.