With Gartner putting virtualization in the number 1 spot of their Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2009, virtualization has been getting quite a bit of attention. I tend to think about server virtualization, which is where most of the buzz has been, but part of Gartner's reason for putting it at the top of the list is because they also see virtualization in storage and client devices growing rapidly along with server virtualization.
Here are a couple of additional virtualization trend data points:
- IDC also sees virtualization as a hot trend in the industry, and they see Linux playing a big role. In a report from April (PDF link), IDC says that people who use Linux now will continue to deploy increased numbers of virtualized Linux instances and expand their use of Linux in these virtualized environments.
- Sam Dean describes a couple of virtualization trends on the OStatic blog: "1) open source virtualization offerings; and 2) free virtualization within operating systems."
There are plenty of open source virtualization offerings available to choose from, including Xen and KVM. VMWare recently announced that it has released a virtual desktop client into open source in addition to it's other virtualization products. However, many users will probably just use the default virtualization solution from their operating system vendor. There are plenty of examples of virtualization solutions being offered by the operating system vendors: Microsoft, Red Hat, Sun or others.
The open source virtualization vendors face plenty of competition from the operating system vendors and other solutions. This kind of competition fosters innovation as the various vendors compete to have the best solution. The key is that there are plenty of options to choose from depending on exactly what you need from your virtualization solution.