of a partnership between Dell and Egenera has
done something unique in the business development world -- increased the
credibility of both players who were lagging in overall market presence in a
key technology area -- server virtualization.
smaller server vendor, popular in financial services, public sector and service
providers, was the first to bring Unix-class virtualization capabilities to x86
systems but did so only within its unique blade server frame design. As such,
Egenera simply hasn’t been able to make much headway in the general enterprise
market. A 2005 hardware OEM partnership with Fujitsu-Siemens was a step in the
right direction but one only felt in Europe.
A shift is
taking place in the server market that is starting to look very much like a
throw back to simpler times. As enterprises gain comfort with x86 server
virtualization, they are starting to push for higher and higher consolidation
ratios, which are driving a return to scale up server purchases. Where a
single-socket server with 8GBs of RAM was the most popular choice a few years
back when scaling out was all the rage, we are starting to see beefier
configurations become the norm to accommodate server
A Forrester survey from just last year showed that while adoption of x86 virtualization was ramping
quickly among enterprise infrastructure & operations (I&O) leaders, the
ratios of servers consolidated were low, averaging 4:1. But this may have been
as much a byproduct of the new technology comfort curve as it was server buying
An interesting development is happening in the hosting market that is a blend of
technology innovation and business model proliferation. It has been well established in the Internet services market that the delivery of free services, or “freeconomics” is a viable model so long as either advertisers pay to participate or that the 1% of the customers paying for premium services generate enough income to fund the free version for the remaining 99%. This shift has started hollowing out the classified advertising, encyclopedia and newspaper markets. E-mail, storage and collaboration hosting markets are also feeling the pinch.