For years now, owners of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been encouraged to embrace virtualisation of IT assets, from software such as Microsoft products to hardware such as servers. In fact, this trend has been picking up speed and trending for years in the general field of industry for a while, and finally seems to have peaked.
According to a report by information technology research company Gartner, the worldwide x86 server virtualisation market is expected to reach US$5.6 billion in 2016, a year-on-year increase of 5.7%. Yet despite this overall market increase, new software licences have declined for the first time since the market became mainstream more than a decade ago. Rather than new licences, it is maintenance revenue that is driving the market growth – and this indicates a rapidly maturing software market segment.
The market has been rapidly maturing over the last few years. Today, many companies have conversion rates of more than 75%, which shows the high level of penetration.
Server virtualisation may be the most common infrastructure platform for x86 server operating system (OS) workloads in on-site data centres, but Gartner analysts pose that new computing styles and techniques, including OS container-based virtualisation and cloud computing, will have a significant impact on this market.