MAYNARD, MA--(Marketwire - Jul 26, 2011) - Microsoft and VMware are in a dogfight for the leading share of companies building virtualized server environments to support critical corporate applications, according to the Stratus Technologies-ITIC survey of companies in industries ranging from manufacturing to financial services to healthcare. Stratus, the industry leader for uptime assurance, conducts this survey semi-annually to determine companies' perceived need for uptime in their IT infrastructures, where uptime is most important to them, and if and how they measure it .

While VMware had a commanding lead in the virtualization software market early on, Microsoft has fought its way into tight contention. In the spring 2010 survey, 78 percent of the 243 respondents said they were using VMware while 38 percent said Microsoft Hyper-V (numbers do not equal 100 percent since some respondents use multiple vendors' products). In the 2011 survey of 250, the gap closed to 59 percent for VMware compared to 53 percent for Hyper-V. Citrix XenServer users doubled year over year from 9 percent to 18 percent of respondents.

Ninety-four percent of respondents have virtualization somewhere in their IT infrastructure. Seventy-four percent said they currently run business-critical applications on virtual machines and have plans to increase the number of these applications in the next 12 months. Stratus® ftServer® systems support VMware and Hyper-V virtualization platforms, and Stratus Avance® software has XenServer virtualization built in. Both products provide industry-leading uptime assurance for virtualized business-critical applications.

Several factors contributed to Microsoft's surge, including the company's bundling strategy and IT organizations' desire to avoid vendor lock-in on a critical technology, according to ITIC principal Laura DiDio.

"Virtualization software is as fundamental to this era as the browser was at the advent of the Internet era, and is likely the next battleground in corporate IT," said Laura DiDio, principal of ITIC. "VMware more or less launched the market but, as with any key technology, IT organizations want to hedge their bets; Microsoft was right there. IT organizations experimenting with virtualization before going all-in had Hyper-V bundled with Windows Server as their test bench.

"The total virtualization market continues to grow rapidly, driven by that fact that virtualization technology isn't just for servers anymore; there's desktop, storage, application virtualization and others. It appears that other vendors are capturing more of this growth than VMware is, particularly in VDI and application virtualization," said DiDio. "This would account for the significant percentage shifts by vendor."

As application and server consolidation initiatives reach maturity, companies are looking to virtualize business- and mission-critical applications, as well as other areas of the enterprise, to maximize return on their software investment. As they do, requirements for uptime assurance increase due to the higher value of the workloads and high cost of downtime. These uptime requirements are increasingly beyond the ability of virtualization software alone to provide.

"The future of virtualization is mixed-vendor environments, as companies select the best products for particular workloads," said Roy Sanford, Stratus chief marketing officer. "Our focus is to support these virtual workloads with the industry's best uptime, regardless of the company's size or vendor's software. Stratus solutions are simple to use, cost effective to manage, and integrate seamlessly into the data center or remote office. There is no better protection against downtime in either the physical, virtual or cloud computing world."

About Stratus Technologies
Stratus delivers the world's only proactive "uptime assurance" guarantee for the platforms that run the most vital functions of business, healthcare, manufacturing and government. Combining its resilient software and hardware technologies with thirty years of unparalleled remote monitoring and management expertise for availability, Stratus helps save lives and protect the business and reputations of companies, institutions, and governments the world over. To learn more about worry-free computing, visit

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Stratus, ftServer and Avance are registered trademarks of Stratus Technologies Bermuda Ltd. The Stratus Technologies logo is a trademark of Stratus Technologies Bermuda Ltd. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.

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Ken Donoghue
Stratus Technologies