Gartner publishes the first Magic Quadrant for virtualization – UPDATED

Earlier this week Gartner published a new version of its its first Magic Quadrant for x86 virtualization. It’s extremely interesting for a number of reasons.

First of all, VMware is the only major player considered a leader in the market, with the best capability to execute and the best completeness of vision. Its position seems unreachable no matter how you look at the graph.

More interesting than that, because unexpected, is that Gartner considers both Citrix and Oracle having the same capability to execute, despite the former is well ahead in terms of vision and alone in the Visionaries category.

Microsoft is the only “challenger”, and yet it has nor the capability to execute of VMware, which is surprising considering that VMware is now led by two former top Microsoft executives, neither the vision of Citrix.

Red Hat, Novell and Parallels all stay in the niche players quadrant, which is nothing surprising, despite Gartner doesn’t differentiate between the Parallels OS virtualization platform and the bare-metal hypervisor.

A surprising thing, is that Gartner considers the Oracle OS virtualization platform, Solaris Containers (aka Zones), better positioned that the Red Hat hardware virtualization one, based on KVM, despite KVM is part of the Linux kernel and virtually present out-of-the-box in every recent Linux distribution.

Update: Gartner contacted and requested to remove the Magic Quadrant. 
At least, we are allowed to list below the position of each player in each sub-quadrant:

  • Leaders
  • Challenges
  • Visionaries
  • Niche Players (from top to bottom)
    Oracle VM
    Oracle Solaris Containers
    Red Hat

This list has been ordered to reflect the players’ position on the vertical axis, representing the Ability to Execute in the Gartner’s Magic Quadrant 2010 about virtualization.

Second update: The integral version of this report, including the Magic Quadrant, is available for free here.