Several channel players are predicting the launch of Microsoft's Hyper-V technology will trigger a massive up tick in virtualisation adoption across all types of organisations. But most agree VMware will dominate the space for some time yet.
Hyper-V is Microsoft's answer to VMware's virtualisation platform. It is a free update for Windows Server 2008 licence holders or can be purchased as a standalone product for $US28.
Dimension Data Microsoft practice manager, David Hanrahan, claimed Hyper-V's availability would convince more organisations to embrace virtualisation. To date, the number of servers using virtualisation is sitting under 10 per cent, leaving room for growth.
"We've been waiting some time for Hyper-V - some clients who have not moved into server virtualisation to date have held off making decisions about virtualisation projects," he said. "Microsoft has never been the first to market with anything - their move into a market has usually been just before it's about to boom."
At the top end of town, Hanrahan said corporates could see Microsoft as a way to start increasing their physical and virtual environments and managing them from one platform. But he also claimed Hyper-V's accessibility would act as a stimulant on mid-market customers and predicted rapid virtualisation takeup in the SMB market.
Ingram Micro virtualisation practice manager, Peter Pollari, forecast Hyper-V would trigger at least double or triple digit growth in virtualisation adoption.
"The Microsoft brand lends itself to exposure," he said. "Its accessibility will definitely drive take-up in the SMB space, but it's good for everyone. Resellers who haven't been in this space or chosen not to invest will now look to engage."
Jasco Consulting managing director, Jason McClintock, said the most compelling reason for customers to choose Hyper-V was convenience. The Sydney-based integrator partners with both VMware and Microsoft.
"If you can source your virtualisation engine, NOS, collaboration tools, unified messaging solution, data protection and network management suite from a single vendor, then the ongoing management of your server farm can be greatly simplified," he said. "I think we will see small to medium business adopt Hyper-V and the uptake of virtual servers will increase overall due to price from Microsoft: Hyper-V should drive competition in the virtual machine [VM] space which should result in better VM technology outcomes at realistic price points."
Sydney-based IMC Communications is also a VMware and Microsoft partner. Technical services director, Andrew Gifford, argued many SMEs hadn't been sold the virtualisation story yet.
"Virtualisation as a technology is compelling and having Microsoft in there just legitimises it more and makes the education process easier," he said.
Virtualisation practice manager at integration specialists, Technical Architecture Solutions (TAS), Damian Murdoch, also welcomed a new competitor into the arena but said it had not seen a lot of customer interest in Hyper-V so far.