Enterprises are rushing in record numbers to virtualise their servers, according to IBM.
The company is reporting a threefold increase in the number of virtualised Power Systems servers sold. Sixty four per cent of Big Blue's customers opted for a virtualised Linux setup on the new servers, compared to just 21 per cent a year ago.
"Even I was stunned by the uptake," admitted Scott Handy, IBM's vice president of Power Systems.
"I didn't anticipate an across-the-board tripling."
Handy told vnunet.com that much of the virtualisation sales are due to users consolidating their servers. He noted a sharp increase in the number of orders for servers with multiple partitions, indicating that users are seeking to take multiple machines and load them into a single unit.
Handy also noted that a third of the customers were planning to use the new servers as a "two-tier in a box" setup. Rather than consolidating two mail servers or two storage servers, the new systems are being used to virtualise servers for different purposes on a single machine.
The boost in virtualisation is leading to a windfall for IBM. Because virtualising multiple systems requires more computing muscle than running a single system, the company is seeing richer, more dense server models being ordered.
To further encourage those sales, IBM is planning to cut its memory prices by some 30 per cent for the Power Systems line.
"We want to encourage customers to do more virtualisation," Handy said of the discount.
"I think this will be a big growth area for us. It makes sense for our customers."
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