Intel Channel Chief: Virtualization a Boon for Intel

By Sharon Linsenbach  |  Print this article Print

Intel's worldwide channel chief says, despite what you might think, virtualization is a good thing for the vendor. 

While it seems logical that virtualization would mean fewer servers, fewer processors and a negative impact on Intel's business, the vendor's worldwide channel chief says virtualization is actually helping Intel and its partners keep up with demand.

Steve Dallman told Channel Insider that though IDC research purports to show that virtualization will decrease the number of servers sold and also dampen demand for server technology, he and the company's channel partners are seeing incredible growth in the server market.

"You would think with virtualization that you'd see fewer servers, but that's not happening.  The need for servers and server capacity is phenomenally large," especially from the SMB (small and midsize business) market, Dallman said. Research firm Access Markets International said in January that global SMB server spending will reach $19.8 billion in 2008, a double-digit growth over 2007.

Virtualization is adopted first through enterprises, and therefore hasn't negatively affected the channel and solution providers, most of whom are SMBs providing services to other SMBs, Dallman said. 

"SMBs just don't need to consolidate server farms," he said.

If anything, virtualization is helping to keep server supply more in line with demand, and eliminating hardware shortages that might have occurred without virtualization, Dallman said.  Since partners and their end-user customers are able to manage and deliver a greater amount of data on fewer physical server devices, they don't need as many physical servers.

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While growth in the server space is still accelerating, Dallman said without virtualization, the growth in the space might be out of control.

"All virtualization is going to do is to moderate the growth in the server space" to a level that's manageable for both vendors and partners, he said.

The global need for servers driven by the SMB market could be offsetting any decline in enterprise server demand brought about by virtualization, Dallman said, offering lucrative growth and services opportunities for partners delivering server technology to those SMB customers.

In an SMB environment, partners could find opportunities installing and maintaining e-mail and BlackBerry servers. 

He also said that server demand is high in vertical markets, like federal, state and local government and the health care industry, driven by federal mandates such as HIPAA.  Other demand drivers include the need to maintain growing amounts of data and to do business globally, Dallman added.

Dallman said Intel is working closely with companies such as VMware and XenSource to make sure Intel partners are aware of the companies' virtualization technologies and products, Dallman said.

Dallman added that Intel's Enabled Server Acceleration Alliance program works to validate and certify server configurations and compatibility with VMware virtualization technology.  

Related coverage from the Intel partner summit:

Intel, NaviSite Ink Managed Services Deal

For Intel, Desktops Aren't Dead

Intel Channel Chief: Virtualization a Boon for Intel

Intel Partners Say Small Form Factor a Big Deal

Intel Jumps Into Managed Services Market

Sharon Linsenbach Sharon Linsenbach is a staff writer for eWEEK and eWEEK Channel Insider. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, Sharon was Assistant Managing Editor for CRN, a weekly magazine for PC and technology resellers. Before joining CRN, Sharon was an Acquisitions Editor for The Coriolis Group and later, Editorial Director with Paraglyph Press, both in Scottsdale, AZ. She holds a BA in English from Drew University and lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her significant other and two neurotic cats. When she's not reading or writing about technology, Sharon enjoys yoga, knitting, traveling and live music. Sharon can be reached at Sharon.Linsenbach@ziffdavisenterprise.com.