Virtualization is already making a huge impact on IT, with 2014 seeing dramatically increased use, particularly in data center networks, where it brings several benefits in power consumption, server utilization and application performance. And while virtualization may have its share of issues, such as extra network loads that can impact performance and response times, the technology is poised to grow even more in 2015.

A recent report on server virtualization from Infonetics Research states that 75 percent of surveyed companies are now in the process of virtualizing in the interests of improved application performance. The report predicts that by 2015:
  • More than half of data center servers will be virtualized
  • The number of virtual machines (VM) per server will reach 30
Potential solutions for anticipated network problems from virtualization are already being designed to combat issues such as VM migration and planned network events, which can stall data by consuming significant bandwidth. Some data centers are implementing hybrid packet-optical circuit-switched networks, which overlay existing Ethernet or InfiniBand networks and offload traffic while providing a high-speed, low-latency data lane for planned events.

What else is in store for virtualization? Here are some of the most likely predictions for 2015 regarding VMs and cloud functionality in the business infrastructure. (Do some background reading. Check out Do You Really Understand Virtualization?)

The Cloud Market Will Increase Dramatically

Cloud adoption is one of the fastest growing areas in enterprise IT right now. Gartner’s technology forecast predicts that cloud adoption will reach $250 billion by 2017, and the most recent complete data from the fourth quarter of 2013 supports this forecast by showing global enterprise’s increased reliance on the cloud.

The same forecast projected the worldwide growth of the Software as a Service (SaaS) market by 20.2 percent annually through 2017, further strengthening the case for virtualization.

Businesses of all sizes are jumping on the cloud bandwagon, and this growth will continue in 2015. CRN predicts that small businesses will have collectively spent nearly $100 billion on cloud-based services through 2015, and a study from Logicalis IT projects that by 2015, almost 80 percent of organizations will have or pursue a private cloud strategy.

Increased Cloud Development and Innovation

While only 25 percent of software developers work with cloud platforms, they account for the 85 percent of new software that’s being developed for the cloud. And by the end of 2014, IDC projects that SaaS will generate 20 percent of all application revenue for the year. As applications shift to cloud-friendly environments, more developers will work on cloud ecosystems.

This increased competition will lead to improved products and services, and greater innovation as developers vie for a slice of the cloud market. Once again, the emergence of new cloud apps at the enterprise level drives the growth of virtualization.

With increased demand, growing variety, and new approaches to solving existing issues, 2015 could become the year of virtualization.