The adoption of server virtualisation continues to accelerate as organisations of all sizes consolidate physical servers in an effort to rein in costs, improve application management and streamline IT operations. However, these benefits are balanced by a host of data protection challenges as users discover that legacy platforms are incapable of keeping up with the scale, scope and performance requirements of the virtual world.

This is according to the results of an annual end user virtualisation survey among CommVault customers.

The study also found that, ii order to keep pace with the data management needs of the virtualised data centre, organisations are re-evaluating protection strategies in search of a better way to protect, manage and recover their environments.

Strong server virtualisation demand and deployments have continued to accelerate year on year among CommVault customers, despite the ongoing economic downturn while the major factors driving this continued adoption of server virtualisation technologies, as well as the top data protection challenges are associated with protecting virtualised environments.

Overall, the adoption of server virtualisation has increased year on year with 34% of the 388 survey respondents stating their server environments were 75% to 100% virtualised. VMware continues to own the lion’s share of the market vis-à-vis Microsoft and Citrix with 85 percent of those polled listing VMware as their hypervisor platform of choice.

Nick Wonfor, country manager for CommVault South Africa, says: “There is no question that the adoption of server virtualisation technology continues to accelerate as more and more enterprise organizations consolidate their business-critical applications on VMs, reinforcing the need for a modern approach to data management.”

The survey revealed the top three factors driving the adoption of server virtualisation among the respondents are: the need to improve cost savings through operational efficiency, reduction of capital expenditures related to hardware purchases or licensing acquisition costs, and improved ease of management.

Survey respondents also show a groundswell of support for running business-critical applications on virtual machines in their production environment, including application servers (93%), Web servers (84%), databases (72%) and messaging applications (53%).

As virtual environments continue to be complex and heterogeneous with products from multiple vendors, integration and interoperability is important. In terms of data protection, however, 90% of respondents said they prefer a single backup application for virtual and physical environments.