Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Microsoft Hosting Summit 2010 - Virtualisation Thoughts

Last week was the fifth Microsoft Hosting Summit in Bellevue, Seattle and once again I was lucky enough to attend for Cobweb. For me this is one of the most useful events of the year. It's a good opportunity to learn about the market, new developments and offerings from other partners. Most importantly though, it's a networking opportunity and a good chance to develop relationships with Microsoft and leading hosting companies from around the world.

The were 330 attendees at the summit, the largest so far, and it was said that the summit room contained the "World think-tank for hosting and cloud services." Maybe, let's remember there's life outside of the Microsoft world too. There was a very strong representation from the UK as ever - did you know that the UK is the #2 hosting market for Microsoft? It's second only to the US.

There were two things of interest in relation to Virtualisation;

In the Austen Mulinder & Bob Muglia opening keynotes, a picture of the future was painted;

  • There are approximately 30 million servers running in the world today
  • In 10 years time this is estimated to be 50 million servers
  • Potentially 50% of these servers will run in the cloud in 10 years time
  • That's 25 million servers in the cloud - that's changing the world of IT
The final point was that at today's costs for hosting and managing servers, 25M is an untenable cost and therefore efficiencies in hosting and a reduction of management costs (tools and people) need to be found by the truckload.

Following on from this, in John Zanni's keynote - The State of the Hosting Industry, he talked about the need for hosting companies to leverage existing investments, scale up AND down as a business changes, and be agile to survive. Agile platforms? - flexible, modular, repeatable process, quick time to market etc.

John conducted a quick straw-poll of the audience (most of the 300 hosting attendees were there)

  • The majority of the room have less than 25% of their server estate virtualised
  • A tiny handful (John counted no more than 6) had more than 50% of their estate running as virtual servers
There are ~0.5M servers hosted worldwide today, as that grows to 25M the agile , efficient and cost-enabling solutions will some from virtualisation, ever-improving hardware and smart tools. There's still lots of change on this journey we've only just started to make.


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