Exchange and SQL Server lead virtualised apps

Research shows that organisations are still happier virtualising some of their mission critical business applications more than others: but technical and performance concerns may still dictate which they prefer to run on physical, rather than virtual, servers.

A survey of over 1,000 VMWare customers in the US, Europe and Asia, indicated that 43 per cent run Microsoft SQL Server workloads within a virtual machine (VM), for example, with 38 per cent doing the same with Microsoft Exchange.

Fewer organisations run either Oracle databases or middleware (25 per cent) or SAP databases (18 per cent) within VMs, however.

VMware does not believe this disparity is a result of technical or performance issues – only that the IT upgrade cycle is longer for these applications and the servers they run on, and virtual application licensing options have confused IT staff.

But many organisations remain wary about running CPU intensive apps inside VMs, rather than on dedicated hardware, because the physical server shares its processors, RAM, hard drives, and I/O resources with multiple VMs running multiple apps.

Little more than two years ago, research conducted by network hardware specialist F5 found that up to three quarters of IT staff still worried that server virtualisation would have a negative effect on application performance.

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