Cloud and Virtualization System Software
dotted lines

Virtualization has transitioned into a mainstream technology in today's datacenters and is widely used to increase hardware utilization as well as lower server operational costs in the datacenter. On the server side, virtualized infrastructures are proving to be a direct on-ramp into cloud computing, and cloud computing starts with a private cloud for most large organizations. In addition, IDC is closely tracking and forecasting the dramatic acceleration of client virtualization deployment and the emerging workspace-as-a-service market. IDC believes this market is poised for an explosion over the next few years, driven in part by the consumerization of IT and the continued explosion of the mobile device market. Cloud and Virtualization System Software explores both the server-to-cloud transition and the market for delivery and management of virtualized desktop and virtualized server resources.

Markets and Subjects Analyzed

  • Server virtualization
  • Cloud system software (private/public cloud–enabling software)
  • Operating system virtualization
  • Virtualized client computing
  • Desktop virtualization
  • Workspace as a service
  • Application virtualization
  • Networking virtualization
  • I/O virtualization
  • User session virtualization
  • Infrastructure and platform clouds
  • Availability and clustering software

Core Research

  • Worldwide Virtual Machine Software (VMS) Forecast
  • Worldwide Server Virtualization Ecosystem Forecast
  • Cloud System Software Technology and Usage
  • Worldwide Application Virtualization Software Forecast
  • Worldwide User Session Virtualization Software Forecast
  • Worldwide Workspace-as-a-Service Forecast

In addition to the insight provided in this service, IDC may conduct research on specific topics or emerging market segments via research offerings that require additional IDC funding and client investment.

Key Questions Answered

  1. How is OpenStack evolving, and what impact will it have on VMware, Microsoft, and Citrix?
  2. How is KVM evolving, and is it capturing more market share?
  3. What virtualization functions are moving in the firmware, hardware, software, and management layers, and what impact will those changes have on virtualization?
  4. What are the tie-in points between virtualization and cloud computing, and how can virtualization users prepare for cloud?
  5. How are related virtualization technologies such as network virtualization and storage virtualization evolving?
  6. What are the market size and five-year forecast for virtualization software vendor revenue, both client and server?
  7. What are the use cases for client virtualization, and how are those use cases impacting revenue and market growth?
  8. How is the consumerization of IT and the bring your own PC (BYOPC) trend, changing the landscape and opportunities for client virtualization?

Worldwide Hypervisor Shipments/Subscriptions/Deployments, 2009–2012

Source: IDC

Companies Analyzed

IDC's Cloud and Virtualization System Software analyzes the strategies, market positions, and future directions of major vendors in the cloud and virtualization software market, including Amazon, Cisco, Citrix, ClearCube, Dell, Egenera, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, Parallels, Red Hat, Symantec/VERITAS, Terremark, TripWire, Vizioncore, VKernel, VMware, Wyse, and Xsigo. In addition, it looks at open source technologies including OpenStack, CloudStack, Eucalyptus, and similar products.

IDC Custom Solutions

IDC's Custom Research and Go-to-Market Solutions harness the power of global research, thought leadership, and innovative best practices to drive your business forward. With proven approaches and research-backed methodologies, IDC helps you:


IDC Custom Solutions develops and delivers programs designed around your specific business goals using a foundation of research and insights across technologies, geographies, and industries as well as expertise across practice areas that span strategy, sales and marketing, and business measurement and management. Go here to view our overview video.

Unparalleled Coverage of IT Professional Requirements Across Vertical Industries

Whether you are a technology buyer or provider, IDC Insights' research translates today's global IT professional requirements and trends into business opportunities for your organization. With dedicated businesses targeting energy, financial services, government, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail, IDC provides unmatched integration of global technology and vertical industry expertise to deliver industry-specific customer intelligence that gives clients a powerful business advantage.

Connect and engage with a global network of business and IT professionals in the first-of-its-kind end-user community at or learn more about our IT Executive research by visiting


Meet the Experts
Al Gillen
Program Vice President, Servers and System Software
Matthew Eastwood
Senior Vice President, Enterprise Infrastructure and Datacenter