This IDC study provides a top-down sizing of the virtual machine market in 2016 and a 2017–2021 forecast for this market. Historical and forecast revenue data is shown for the total worldwide market. Virtual machine software is a competitive market in IDC's software taxonomy and a submarket of software-defined compute software. Virtual machine software includes hypervisor revenue derived from traditional server virtualization deployments and does not include hypervisor revenue that is bundled with cloud system software for cloud deployments.
According to Gary Chen, research manager, IDC's Software-Defined Compute, "Virtual machine software continues to be a foundational technology for the modern datacenter and cloud computing, but saturation of mature markets, the embedding of virtualization into a larger stack, and changes in VMware's business model are changing the revenue outlook significantly, although shipments remain healthy."