There are hundreds of types of applications in VMs, but VMware just asked customers about the six listed above to get a sense of adoption related to some of the most common mission-critical applications.
Although SAP and Oracle apps are far less likely to reside in VMs than Microsoft tools, VMware executives says that disparity is not related to technical problems. Customers typically pair virtualization deployments with server refreshes and application upgrades. Microsoft software applications are updated far more frequently than SAP's and Oracle's, VMware executives say. SAP and Oracle apps have by and large not yet been virtualized because customers are reluctant to make big changes in between upgrade cycles.
"Rule No.1 in IT is, if it's not broken don't fix it," says Bogomil Balkansky, VMware's vice president of product marketing.Wolf, however, chalks up the SAP/Oracle virtualization numbers in part to the criticality of the workloads. "Prior to this year, we didn't have hardware that was capable of running those types of VMs well, at least in an enterprise scale," Wolf says..
Oracle's complicated licensing rules have also limited virtualization adoption, he says.
Within the entire VMware install base, 34% of workloads are virtualized. That percentage is higher than the entire IT population, of course, because a company wouldn't be a customer of VMware if it hasn't adopted virtualization.
Network World's recent State of the Network Study, which polled 311 IT organizations, shows that most enterprises are virtualizing at least some tier-1 applications. Twenty-two percent have a limited deployment in virtualizing tier-1 apps, 18% are in the process of deploying enterprise-wide, and 12% have fully implemented a program to virtualize tier-1 apps. Another 29% are researching, testing or piloting such a program. Companies with at least 500 employees are reporting higher virtualization rates than their smaller brethren.
Various surveys have found that more than half of newly deployed workloads are being placed in VMs. If that trend holds up, the total number of VMs could eventually pass the number of physical servers.
Another interesting tidbit revealed by VMware is that their average customer is attaining consolidation ratios of five to one, or five VMs per socket. An average two-socket server, then, holds 10 VMs.
But those consolidation ratios can vary quite a bit. With SQL Server, VMware has seen some customers achieve ratios of 20-to-1, Castelein says. For Exchange, five VMs per socket is more often typical. VMware says that's due less to technical limitations than it is to customers' comfort level, and not wanting "to put too many eggs in one basket."