Virtualization Management: Emerging Opportunity or Old News?

Virtualization Management: Emerging Opportunity or Old News?

Large enterprises have spent the past decade deploying virtualization -- mostly VMware -- to consolidate data centers and improve server utilization rates. In some ways, the virtualization trend is old news. But is the story different in the small and midsize business market -- especially for MSPs seeking to remotely manage and optimize customer systems?

I ask the virtualization question because it seems like every major MSP-oriented software company has been introducing new virtualization management technologies in recent weeks. Among the examples:

  • The latest SolarWinds Virtualization Manager for VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V shipped last week.
  • The recent Doyenz Spring '12 release includes a new rCloud Agent for VMware vSphere; Doyenz says the agent allows customers to restore their virtualized environments in 15 minutes or less.
  • Last week's LabTech 2012 launch included integrations with VMware ESX and the Doyenz cloud. Side note: I believe most of the major RMM (remote monitoring and management) software providers support the monitoring of VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V environments.
So, virtualization management capabilities are everywhere. But...
  • Do small businesses need virtualization management in a big way?
  • How deeply have VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, Xen and KVM (kernel-based virtual machine) penetrated the SMB market?
  • As small customers increasingly leverage cloud applications (SaaS) rather than on-premises applications, will it minimize the virtualization management opportunity for MSPs?
Generally speaking, I think the biggest virtualization opportunities for MSPs involve...
  • disaster recovery as a service in the cloud
  • virtual desktop integration, with an emphasis on extending Windows and Office application access out to tablets
Admittedly, this blog entry is filled with educated guesses, hunches... and plenty of questions.
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