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Standardized virtualization environments preferred, survey says

(Bill Claybrook, TechTarget) Let's explore the pros and cons of running multiple vendors' platforms in your virtualization environment and review the virtual appliance and cloud computing markets.

Virtualization environments: To mix or not to mix?
If you have some combination of Windows, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Solaris and Oracle in your data center and you follow our virtualization selection recommendations, your environment will support multiple virtualization software platforms. Each platform has its own set of virtualization management tools, which creates licensing and maintenance complexity.

The survey results indicate that 55.8% of respondents want to standardize on a single x86-based hypervisor if possible. This data aligns closely with the results of a winter 2009 study by The Info Pro, in which 54% of respondents said they do not want to use multiple x86 virtualization approaches. But 54% of respondents said they would use multiple approaches to get the required performance and support.

Realistically, you need at least two or three for high-performance production applications and timely support for guest operating systems when issues arise.

But if you want to standardize on one virtualization platform, VMware stands out as the only solution that is suitable, according to The Info Pro study. IT managers believe in VMware because it dominates the virtualization platform market.

Market-by-market breakdown
There are multiple virtualization software markets: server virtualization, cloud computing, virtual appliances and so on. Microsoft and VMware have the markets for server virtualization and internal cloud computing, but where are the markets for Citrix Systems, Oracle, Red Hat and other open source virtualization software vendors for public clouds and virtual appliances? To decide which virtualization platform vendors to go with in a specific market, you should focus on the size of their installed bases.

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