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Against the backdrop of growing clamor for energy saving technologies such as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), green IT and Service-oriented architecture (SOA), a report by IT market research specialist Global Industry Analysts, Inc. (GIA), found the worldwide market for Server Virtualization Software is projected to reach $5.6 billion by 2015.

The report found Windows OS Server Virtualization Software market is the largest and the fastest growing segment within the overall server virtualization market, having accounted for a share of about 46 percent in the total revenue generated in 2009, followed by Linux and other open source server virtualization software market, which represented a share of about 38 percent.

GIA identified key players in the global market as Citrix Systems, Dell, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, VMware and open source outfits such as Red Hat. The report, titled “Server Virtualization Software: A Global Market Report” also provides a review of industry overview, technology overview, technology introductions, and an overview of recent mergers and acquisitions. The firm also predicted the increased deployment of cloud computing strategies would transform server virtualization into a “default” technology at an enterprise level over the next few years.

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“Thanks to server virtualization, IT departments across the world are now able to consolidate multiple servers as virtual machines into a single physical box, and in the process, ensure more effective utilization of available hardware and reduction in the number of physical servers, which automatically generates substantial cost savings,” the report concludes. “Growth in the server virtualization software market over the next few years will be driven by the growing attention of the enterprise towards achieving key objectives such as ensuring business continuity, reducing unscheduled IT downtimes and enhancing business agility, and waxing popularity of server virtualization software as a key to achieve them.”

A similar report recently published by IT market research firm AMI-Partners found in medium-size businesses—firms employing between 100 and 1,000 employees—consider virtualization a key element of their future success. The survey found the percentage of U.S. MBs that consider server virtualization strategically important has increased from 46 percent to 75 percent.