Is the world really going virtual?

So virtual machines are taking over the world... or are they?According to our sister site Channel Pro the number of virtual machines is set to outnumber their physical counterparts during 2009. There’s a caveat to that: we’re talking servers rather than desktop systems, but it’s still an amazing statistic.

Is the world really going virtual?

Not that the world’s been caught napping by virtualisation. Unlike most industry buzzwords that come and go with the frequency of someone being mortally offended by someone else’s thoughtless behaviour in The Archers – as an aside, am I the only one who shouts at the radio saying “Why don’t you just talk to them like anybody else in the world would?” – the word virtualisation has been bandied around for years.

And evidently, 2009 is its year. But is it? Clearly in the world of large datacenters and large business it’s having an impact – I can’t argue with the figures, with IDC claiming that 358,000 servers shipped with a virtualisation platform in place in Western Europe during 2008 – but I’m not being inundated by queries from readers of PC Pro asking if their smaller businesses should be looking at virtualisation.

So what I’d like to know is, have you experimented with virtual machines in your business? Indeed, have you taken the plunge? If so, what size is your business? And has it worked? I’d be interested to know any success stories, but I’d also be interested to know what’s stopped you going virtual – if you’ve considered it at all.

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