Virtualisation continues to drive European server purchases

TechTarget survey finds 97.3% of large organisations plan to expand their deployments in 2014, with consolidation the main driver

Almost all large organisations in Europe are planning to expand their virtualisation programmes in 2014, according to new research from TechTarget and Computer Weekly. 

The datacentre and virtualisation purchasing intentions survey polled more than 600 European firms across all sectors. The sample was split evenly among small, medium-sized and large companies. 

Amongst large organisations (1,000+ employees), 97.3% said they would be extending deployments of virtualisation over the next 12 months. A further 1.8% were planning to put the technology in place for the first time, with the remainder (0.9%) evaluating it. Not a single large organisation said they had abandoned or didn’t intend to use the technology.

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When asked to give their top three reasons for new server purchases, almost half of large companies (48%) said consolidation was their prime driver. Refreshing out-of-date equipment was cited by 36.9%, whilst 28% said expansion was necessary to meet their business’s normal computing requirements.

The figures for medium-sized (100-999 employees) and small companies (under 100 employees) showed they were not far behind in their adoption of the technology either, with 84.7% and 80% respectively stating they planned to expand its use in 2014.

The survey also highlighted the dominance of VMWare in the sector, and the difficulty Microsoft is likely to face as it bids to capture a bigger slice of the market with it’s Hyper-V products. More than three-quarters of large organisations (76.6%) used VMWare ESX as their primary virtualisation platform, whilst only 15.3% were primarily using Microsoft.

Almost half the large organisations said they were not considering a switch away from their current vendor. Of those that were, 18.9% were thinking of moving to VMWare, while 25.2% were looking at Microsoft. The figures suggested there may be a small shift from ESX to Hyper-V, but Microsoft faced a tough battle ahead, particularly among larger customers. 

Clive Longbottom, service director at analyst Quocirca, said: “Larger organisations have already have made a significant investment in ESX, and are unlikely to switch over to Hyper-V just based on cost."

The results were similar amongst medium-sized organisations, but Microsoft was faring slightly better among smaller companies. Although just over half (53.7%) of small firms used VMWare as their primary virtualisation platform, a third (32.6%) said Microsoft was their main provider, and of the 59% considering switching, 29.5% were thinking about moving to Microsoft, whilst only 22.1% were looking at a switch to VMWare. 

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