2011 Prediction: Acronis

Hitch Your Virtualization Wagon to These Four Horses

When it comes to predicting where the biggest changes will take place in 2011, the fact is, the four biggest drivers were set in motion in 2010, and they’re going to supercharge virtualization growth through 2011, climbing higher than existing virtualization adoption estimates suggest.

SMBs and SMEs Are Virtualization’s “Big Bang”

Small and medium-sized businesses and enterprises will be the key to virtualization’s full arrival in IT infrastructures during 2011 and into 2012. Platform vendors are already rolling out products to catalyze an already aggressive adoption of both virtual machines and cloud services. Server consolidation and better Backup/DR are the two most popular use cases for virtualization, and demand for virtualization in this segment will create a greater need for easily implementable physical-to-virtual migrations and more comprehensive virtual machine protection across local and cloud boundaries.

The Virtual Desktop Will Accelerate Virtual Machine Adoption

This one’s easy. The virtual desktop, driven by advances in virtual desktop infrastructures (VDIs), will become far more common in organizations that want to save money and reduce administration costs. Savings from virtualizing desktops will begin to eclipse savings gleaned from server virtualization, given that the workstation/server ratio is heavily stacked toward the former. But customers should keep in mind that they’ll have to address challenging migration and management issues to protect these newly virtualized resources adequately.

Cloud Services Will Become Increasingly Attractive

Newly available public cloud infrastructure-as- a-service-offerings will encourage more companies to create virtual machine populations that are pooled in offsite virtual data centers and operated on a pay-as-you-go basis. Driven by powerful new products like VMware vCloud Director, companies can manage across Hybrid Cloud environments to reduce costs, ease deployments, and manage computing resources. This will require investment in unified backup and recovery solutions, especially if tier-1 Apps will be deployed in the Hybrid Cloud.

Feature Richness and Simplicity Will Go Hand In Hand

As virtual infrastructures grow, organizations will need to protect their virtual machines with the same level of efficiency they’ve applied to physical workstations and servers or risk losing some of the cost benefits they expected from virtualization in the first place. The emergence in 2011 of truly powerful virtualization products that use the same set-and-forget automation seen in physical backup and recovery products, and the ready availability of “power” tools like data deduplication and standby VM’s, will make it much easier for organizations to embrace or grow their virtualization agendas.