VMware dominates the virtualization tools market, but Microsoft has become a significant rival, a research firm said Friday.
A survey of 400 North American developers in October and November found more than a third involved with virtualization projects and 51% expecting to be within the next 12 months, Evans Data said. Fully 56% of the developers involved with virtualization used VMware tools.
Microsoft was found to be the only significant challenger with 37% of the same developers using its Virtual Server, Evans said. Xen products from Citrix Systems and tools from open source software distributor Red Hat trailed much further behind.
Evans found that VMware tools were dominant across all segments, while Microsoft software was strongest among value-added resellers, system integrators, and outsourcers creating custom applications for outside clients.
The appeal of virtualization remained in its ability to reduce energy and hardware costs by consolidating more business applications in one server. In addition, the technology brought a short-term return on investment.
"While virtualization has been a key area of focus, the current economic conditions and its associated downward pressure on IT budgets has made it even more of a priority," John Andrews, president and chief executive of Evans, said in a statement.
In addition, Evans found that two-thirds of the developers surveyed are exploring service-oriented architecture options for projects, and 37% have at least some SOA components deployed.
Finally, debugging tools are still ranked as the most important, though source control management and application life-cycle management tools are almost as highly valued.