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A recent Hot Aisle poll about the use of hypervisor technology in enterprises offers some interesting insights.

  • 96% of respondents use at least one hypervisor
  • 44% of respondents use two or more hypervisors
  • 16% of respondents use three or more hypervisors
  • 98% of Hot Aisle readers know what a Hypervisor is (we are a smart bunch)

* The poll was restricted to the main x86 hypervisors – Xen, ESX, KVM and Hyper-v.

Hypervisor technology is now mature with extremely high penetration into enterprises, mid market and SME alike. A very significant number of organisations are using more than one hypervisor. This is most counter-intuitive as (although each has it’s own strengths and weaknesses) all hypervisors do essentially the same job.

There are a number of possible explanations:

  1. Licencing fees for the propriatary products is driving enterprises to adopt a second free product
  2. Vendor support arrangements are driving enterprises to support multiple stacks
  3. Enterprises have poor technology set management processes and are not optimizing their software portfolio
  4. The increasing maturity of Xen and Hyper-v are grabbing enetreprise attention and wallet share (fact) but VMware is not being displaced where it exists

My best guess is that the answer is likely to be a combination of 1, 2 and 3. I plan to craft a new question and put it to the readership.