In May 2009, VMware commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate the business value of x86
server virtualization. In particular, Forrester interviewed individuals responsible for the IT
infrastructure architecture, including VP and C-level individuals, at 29 large enterprises about why
their company invested in virtualization and the specific ways it has improved IT efficiency or
flexibility. In particular, they asked executives to rate the benefits received from consolidating servers, performing business continuity/disaster recovery, reclaiming data center capacity, and executing similar initiatives.
Based on our executive interviews, Forrester found that server virtualization technologies have
delivered benefits that executives could clearly explain. Overall, Forrester found that:
- IT becomes more efficient. Beyond just hardware savings from consolidation,
were able to reclaim capacity (space, power, and cooling) in their data centers, postponing
costly expansion plans.
- Time-to-market is faster. Virtualization speeds server and application deployment, makes
- IT services are more predictable. There will always be failures and downtime, but
- Companies leave savings on the table. Overall, our study respondents virtualized
having achieved rapid return on investment through hardware savings, firms appear to slow
down after their initial successes, with many planning to virtualize just 50% of their systems.
Upfront planning can result in increased long-term savings.