Red Hat has perhaps the most work to do, with Gartner projections for its share of the market next year only 2%. But it has aggressively been working to make its virtual environment more manageable and robust. With the acquisition of Qumranet Red Hat gained kernel-based technology to run on its Linux platform. As such, Red Hat is a clear option for Linux shops.
Red Hat's KVM efforts will most probably get a boost from IBM, HP, Intel, all of which are members of the Open Virtualization Alliance, which is dedicated to encouraging use of open virtualization technology. The established customer bases of these other vendors can only help the spread of Red Hat's virtual environment.
Tech argument: Virtualization vs. native apps
The virtual server market is growing rapidly and the dominance of the various players is shifting, so VMware's early lead is being chipped away, leaving customers with a lot to ponder, Gartner says, particularly those smaller customers just adopting virtualization. Microsoft's Hyper-V is just 3 years old yet its price and integration with other Microsoft products make it a popular choice for mid-sized businesses that that lack resources or the inclination to call on a separate virtualization vendor.
"While the majority of Global 1000 enterprises have been virtualizing for several years, many smaller enterprises and those in emerging economies are just starting out, or haven't started yet," says Gartner. "These enterprises have several viable alternatives from which to choose."
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