Gartner predicts that by 2010 virtualization will be the single most important technology for IT departments:
According to Gartner's figures, there were about 540,000 virtual machines deployed around the world, not including consumer usage (e.g., desktop virtualization products like Virtual PC and Parallels Desktop). By 2009, that figured is expected to soar to over 4 million.
With enterprise IT departments become increasingly concerned about their electric bills, virtualization offers one way to "green" the server room by consolidating the functions of several servers into a single machine. In many cases, a virtual machine running means one less physical machine in operation.
"Today more than 90 percent of users deploying virtual machines are doing so specifically to reduce x86 server, space and energy costs," said Gartner VP Thomas Bittman at his company's Infrastructure, Operations, and Data Center Summit in Sydney, Australia. "We believe that virtualization reduced the x86 server market by 4 percent in 2006, and by 2009 it will have a far greater impact."