Do The Benefits Of Virtualisation Outweigh The Obstacles?

A research report commissioned by Dell and Intel reveals general trends and attitudes towards server virtualisation adoption in small businesses between different European countries with 41 percent of all the companies surveyed currently using the technology.

The findings reveal key differences in adoption and attitudes among European countries, and between companies with fewer than 25 employees and businesses with 25-100 employees. Overall businesses perceived the benefits of server virtualisation as more significant than the obstacles.

Key findings from the survey report include:

Server virtualisation adoption is not uniform between different sized companies and different countries.

  • Server virtualisation adoption is highest (54 percent) among organisations with 25-100 employees, while only 15 percent of companies with fewer than 25 employees currently deploy it.
  • The UK and Benelux region lead the way with server virtualisation adoption, with 41 and 43 percent of companies surveyed using the technology, while only 24 percent of Swiss companies use server virtualisation, well below the European average.

Larger small businesses see greater benefit from server virtualisation, obstacles as less significant than companies with fewer than 25 employees.

  • The top three benefits by small businesses with 25-100 employees perceived as significant were “faster and cheaper back-up and recovery” (59 percent); “reduced total cost of ownership” (56 percent); and “simplifying maintenance without impacting computing power” (54 percent).
  • These benefits were also the top three for companies with fewer than 25 employees, but a lower percentage of those companies rated them as significant (58, 46 and 44 percent, respectively).

Companies with fewer than 25 employees understand server virtualisation and its benefits less than their larger counterparts.

  • Companies with fewer than 25 employees tended to perceive the benefits of server virtualisation less favorably than those with 25-100 employees, as well as to see the potential obstacles preventing adoption as more critical. Thirty-six percent of the companies not using server virtualisation state that they have no knowledge of the benefits of it, compared with 25 percent of companies with 25-100.
  • The feeling that the company “might be too small to benefit from the economies of scale” was the top obstacle (56 percent), while “additional investment in enhanced back-up technology” followed second at 51 percent.

The Benelux region has the highest understanding of server virtualisation.

  • The Benelux region had the fewest respondents (26 percent) stating they had no knowledge of server virtualisation benefits, but also had the highest proportion of companies (48 percent) stating they had no intention of deploying the technology.
  • The Benelux region also sees the potential obstacles against deploying virtualisation least negatively of all the European countries surveyed.
  • The UK had the highest percentage of respondents stating they are planning on deploying the technology in the future (33 percent), but also had the second highest number of companies with no knowledge of the benefits (33 percent), behind Switzerland at 34 percent.

Storage and Desktop virtualisation follow the same overall trend.

  • Larger companies viewed storage virtualisation as more favorable than their smaller counterparts.
  • Desktop virtualisation was rated least favorably out of all the virtualization technologies despite the fact that it may be the most beneficial to small businesses with mobile workforces.

“While there is a noticeable difference between the adoption rates as companies increase in size, the results indicate that businesses of both size groups perceived the benefits of server virtualisation as more significant than the obstacles,” said Aongus Hegarty, President EMEA, Dell. “As businesses become increasingly reliant on technology, and become more educated in the innovations and benefits of server virtualisation, we are sure to witness an increase in its deployment, enabling businesses to enhance their infrastructures and maximise efficiency.

The key findings summarise the views of 1,150 IT decision makers from companies with 100 or fewer employees in Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK. The research study was undertaken by independent researcher, Vanson Bourne.

Christian Harris is editor and publisher of BCW. Christian has over 20 years' publishing experience and in that time has contributed to most major IT magazines and Web sites in the UK. He launched BCW in 2009 as he felt there was a need for honest and personal commentary on a wide range of business computing issues. Christian has a BA (Hons) in Publishing from the London College of Communication.