Half of firms gaining real benefits from virtualisation

The increasing popularity of virtualisation, with more than half of firms having virtualised at least some of their servers, could lead to more widespread adoption of cloud computing, according to Forrester Research.

According to a survey of 2,600 large and small businesses by the analyst, some 54 per cent of enterprises have rolled out virtualisation to x86 servers, or have plans to do so in the next year. Small and medium businesses are right behind, at 53 per cent.

Those that have taken that route have virtualised about a third of their operating system instances with plans to nearly double that within two years.

Desktop virtualisation seemed to catch their fancy too. Seven out of 10 surveyed enterprises and 74 per cent of SMBs were looking ot use desktop virtualisation to cut costs.

"These survey results demonstrate that firms large and small are in the midst of rethinking and overhauling IT infrastructure and client systems, with new approaches for greater flexibility, efficiency, and performance," said Frank Gillett, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester.

Forrester suggested the popularity of virtualisation could help boost takeup of cloud computing. But, so far just five per cent of enterprises are already using hosted virtual servers, with just two per cent of SMBs doing the same. Just a small percentage more wanted to try out such a system in the next year.

Click here to see a video clip about the future of virtualisation.