Article

Users buying, configuring servers for virtualization

Mark Fontecchio

Enhancing server virtualization capabilities is a top three driver for server hardware purchases this year, according to a SearchDataCenter.com survey.

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For more on the Data Center Decisions survey:
IT budgets take a hit

Blade server popularity cools  

Hot-aisle/cold-aisle containment takes hold  

Linux fans see opportunity in Windows 7 changeover

VM deployments on the rise

Linux enthusiasm wanes

Data Center Decisions survey results  

U.S. respondents' results

 Almost half the 777 respondents said virtualization was important in deciding which servers to buy. Increasing compute capacity and normal server refresh cycles were the other top reasons for buying new servers.. In last year's survey, a few respondents wrote in virtualization as a primary driver, but it wasn't one of the choices.

Timothy Happychuk, an IT director at Montreal-based media company Quebecor, said that his organization has leaned toward buying larger rack servers that he said makes virtualization easier. He added that was one of the reasons why the company eliminated some of its blade servers (see blade server popularity has cooled, according to the survey).

The survey also points to another byproduct of server virtualization: memory capacity. Last year, almost half of respondents said they planned to provision between 2 GB and 8 GB of memory for their commodity servers. That's down to 31% this year, eclipsed by the 36% who said they would provision their commodity servers with 8 GB to 16 GB.

Those who would provision even more memory has jumped as well. This finding is in syncwith Quebecor's recent moves. The company is largely going with 16-way, 6U servers and plugging 64 GB of RAM in each one. Happychuk said that allows him to work with larger, contiguous blocks of memory, which has facilitated virtualization management at Quebecor.

In other server news, most of the 55 respondents who said that Sun servers are their primary hardware platform said they wouldn't migrate. Oracle Corp. is buying Sun Microsystems, a move that some industry observers believe puts the future of Sun hardware in jeopardy. About 85% of the Sun server users said they wouldn't change platforms, while 15% said that Oracle/Sun would no longer be their primary platform.

Oracle recently ran an ad in the Wall Street Journal saying it would invest more in the Sparc processor and Solaris operating system than Sun is doing now. Users responding to that and a recent database machine announcement by Oracle that uses Sun hardware were mostly positive to that news this month.

ABOUT SURVEY METHODLOGY AND RESPONDENTS
Between June and September of 2009, SearchDataCenter.com conducted the Data Center Decisions 2009 Purchasing Intentions Survey. Subscribers were contacted by email and invited to participate. For this survey, we had a total of 920 respondents. The respondents identify themselves as IT managers, IT administrators, data center facility managers and IT executives. Respondents were primarily U.S.-based (43%), but the survey also included participants from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. More than half of respondents' organizations employ more than 1,000 workers, and more than 25% of the companies have more than 10,000 employees. Thank you to everyone who participated in this survey. Follow this link to the 2008 data center purchasing intentions survey.

Click here for the complete Data Center Decisions 2009 survey results.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Mark Fontecchio, News Writer. Also, check out our blogs: Data Center Facilities Pro, Mainframe Propeller Head, and Server Farming.


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