Citrix users reveal virtualisation divide

The findings of a small survey of delegates to the recent Citrix iForum makes for an interesting comparison with other research into the virtualisation boom.

Most recently, analyst firm IDC said over half of the servers bought this year will be virtualised, up 17 per cent and proving adoption rates had "exploded" from a year ago when it first surveyed European firms about the technology.

By comparison, the 122 delegates to aCitrix UK customer event last month were just as enthusiastic about virtualising their servers with nearly two thirds (61.2 per cent) of the organisations they represent actively virtualising.

A further 17.2 per cent were virtualising applications, while 3.4 per cent were using storage virtualisation. Just 12.9 per cent were yet to implement any kind of virtualisation technology.

Only 5.3 per cent had adopted desktop virtualisation, which might make for disappointing reading by Citrix though, having launched its desktop virtualisation vision that relies on the concept of application delivery through cloud computing architectures at last month's Edinburgh event, as reported by IT PRO.

However, the vendor was quick to highlight that fact that almost all of its survey respondents saw the advantages of desktop virtualisation, and according to 77.4 per cent the primary benefit of this would be centralised management.

In parallel to other Citrix research into public sector IT priorities released earlier this year, virtualisation security emerged as a concern. While 87 per cent of respondents were using some form of virtualisation, 53 per cent said that the security of virtualisation had yet "to be proven," with a further 6.7 per cent saying that they wouldn't use it for highly sensitive data.

Chris Mayers, chief security architect at Citrix UK said: "While virtualisation remains a relatively new concept for many IT managers, they need reassurance that security is under control. Virtualisation is a solid foundation for security, but there are risks associated with a virtualised environment that IT vendors and managers alike need to address."

But the survey also found application delivery was vital: over half of IT managers and administrators (51.3 per cent) believed their biggest challenge in 2008 is delivering the required user applications and access to information.

So much so that delivering applications was perceived as a greater priority than dealing with a reduced IT budget (cited by 17.1 per cent).

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.