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Windows Server 2012 Gets High Marks in IT Pro Survey

A recent Enterprise Strategy Group survey has found that 90 percent of respondents plan to deploy Windows Server 2012 in the next two years.

That 90 percent figure is rather amazing for a product that was launched earlier this month. The survey results were compiled in June by ESG, a Milford, Mass.-based market research and advisory firm. Such a positive response wasn't even seen for Windows Server 2008 when it began to emerge. For instance, a February 2008 CDW survey of 772 IT professionals found that just 63 percent were planning on upgrading to Windows Server 2008.

The ESG survey results are described in this Microsoft blog post, but the study wasn't available for the press to review. The study, called the ESG "Microsoft Virtualization and Private Cloud Custom Survey," found that 51 percent saw Windows Server 2012's virtualization capabilities as most important, while 49 percent thought enabling private cloud deployments was the key feature in the new server.

ESG used a specific definition for the "private cloud" in the survey, according to Mark Bowker, a senior analyst at ESG. Participants were told that a private cloud enables the following:

"Inherits the core attributes of cloud computing that include a fully virtualized, self-service, scalable and elastic environment running on centrally managed shared resources with usage based tracking enabled. It may be managed by the organization or a third-party and may exist on premise or off premise."

That definition certainly matches Microsoft's messaging about the combination of Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 with regard to private cloud enablement.

Bowker said that ESG had sampled 440 "IT decision-makers" opinions for the study, using an online Web survey tool during the May-to-June timeframe. The survey participants were aware of Windows Server 2012 technologies, he explained, had interest or expertise in virtualization, and had IT department purchasing authority.

Many of the survey participants were already advanced with regard to their private cloud deployments, with 42 percent indicating that they were already using a private cloud to deliver services to end users. In general, elasticity was named as the top private cloud capability according to 32 percent of participants, followed by scalability (26 percent), self-service (15 percent), resiliency (11 percent), management automation (7 percent), usage-based tracking/billing (5 percent) and "other" (3 percent).

Bowker said that the survey participants may have been using Microsoft's or VMware's technology for their private clouds. He added that based on this particular survey, they were more likely to have been using VMware's solutions.

As to what is meant by "scalability," Bowker said that it's about being able to take infrastructure and grow it rapidly while meeting IT requirements. "Elasticity" allows IT organizations to provision the resources (CPU, memory, disk, network and bandwidth) that's needed at the right place at the right time.

The use of Microsoft's Hyper-V hypervisor for virtualization was fairly low at 28 percent in ESG's survey. On the other hand 72 percent of respondents were using "other virtualization solutions." No breakdown on those other virtualization solutions was provided in the released information. However, the survey did find that 65 percent of respondents were using multiple hypervisors.

ESG has its own conclusions about where the virtualization market is headed, based on the responses from the survey.

"The biggest thing [to take away]…is just more needles are pointing in the direction where even though people have made significant investments in VMware, there is opportunity to look at different hypervisors -- it may be Microsoft's or it may be something else," Bowker said, in a phone interview. "While they've made investments in VMware, I think you will see more and more investments in other hypervisors, and I think right now, Microsoft with Windows Server 2012 is well positioned as people move to alternative hypervisors. It doesn't mean that they're going to get rid of their investments in VMware, but they will either add on to it or potentially replace it with time."

Bowker added that the proper actions for IT pros to take depend on where an organization is with their virtualization plans, but he said that the trend is toward a multiple hypervisor environment. Organizations should take a look at what management can do for them and they should get rid of their manual processes, he said.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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