Servers

Why We Use Multiple Hypervisors

Choice of hypervisor is often presented in terms of a religious war, with a dominant faith (VMware) constantly doing battle with a range of rivals (Hyper-V, XenServer, Oracle and others). Yet the reality is more complex: many organisations will run more than one hypervisor simultaneously.

Layers picture from Shutterstock

That point was underscored last year in a survey of 440 IT managers by Enterprise Strategy Group, where 65 per cent said they used more than one hypervisor. Those managers typically worked in large enterprises, but even in a smaller workplace, multiple hypervisors can be common, especially in test and development environments.

Why add in the complexity of multiple hypervisors? The ESG report notes:

In addition to providing pricing leverage, these strategies allow IT staffs to accommodate the specific needs of different applications by matching them with the most appropriate hypervisor, which is especially important to larger organisations with more diverse environments.

The top three drivers identified by the survey were the need for different hypervisors for different application workloads, driving costs down, and the presence of legacy environments. While the latter might change as IT departments consolidate, it seems unlikely the other two motivations will disappear.

How many hypervisors have you deployed, and are you considering more? Tell us in the comments.

Multiple Hypervisor Usage Trends [Enterprise Strategy Group via Server & Cloud Blog]

Lifehacker’s World Of Servers sees me travelling to conferences around Australia and around the globe in search of fresh insights into how server and infrastructure deployment is changing in the cloud era. This week, I’m in Canberra for Linux.conf.au, paying particular attention to the server administration mini-conference and sessions on virtualisation and best practice.