The Asia Pacific region's virtualization software and services market will by 42 per cent, to reach US$1.35 billion by 2010, according to Springboard Research.
Taking a major portion of the market would be the services segment, which is estimated to grow to US$1 billion by 2010. Organizations are expected to spend two to three times more on services than on software.
Springboard says the growth of the overall virtualization market will be powered by steadily increasing interest shown by the region's CIOs. Research conducted by the analyst firm indicates that 50 per cent of CIOs want to deploy virtualization solutions over the next 18-24 months to address issues like low system capacity utilization, poor performance and other challenges associated with managing growing IT infrastructure.
These findings are based on a survey of CIOs from large and mid-sized enterprises in Australia, China, India and Singapore.
"Our research indicates that virtualization, at least at the server level, is becoming an imperative and that a growing number of companies will implement virtualization at the server level in 2008," said Michael Barnes, Vice President - Software Research at Springboard Research.
"The complex nature of engagements with vendors and system integrators while implementing virtualization solutions is a prime reason for virtualization services taking a larger share of the market."
VMWare is the Asia Pacific virtualization market leader with an estimated 70 per cent market share, while Microsoft, Parallels, Virtual Iron and XenSource are other players with significant presence.
The virtualization services market is dominated by several key players including IBM, HP, Dell and Sun. Australia and Korea lead the virtualization marketplace in Asia Pacific due to their well-built infrastructure, while Taiwan, Hong Kong, China and India are high growth potential markets. To tap the emerging opportunities in virtualization, system integrators across the region are making significant investments in people and skills development.
Unsure on implementation
However, there are many CIOs that remained unsure on how to approach implementing virtualization in their organizations.
The region's CIOs hold the view that virtualization technologies are immature and feel that by implementing the technology, new management and security challenges would arise.
In addition, virtualization is primarily viewed from a technical perspective and most CIOs do not link virtualization to solving business problems.
"There is clearly a need for more customer education on the benefits of virtualization -- followed by education on different approaches to successfully incorporating virtualization into the IT environment," said Ravi Shekhar Pandey, Senior Analyst at Springboard Research.
"Sharing case studies of successful deployments, alongside direct linking of virtualization with ROI and business benefits, are key imperatives from the vendor side," he said.