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IT departments battered by the global recession last year are increasingly adopting a “virtualize first” mentality, according to research firm IDC.

In a report April 28, IDC analysts said that 18.2 percent of all servers shipped in the fourth quarter of 2009 were virtualized, an increase from 15.2 percent in the same period in 2008.

In addition, virtualization licenses increased 13 percent year over year, according to the research firm.