Red Hat, Citrix, VMWare. Symantec and Microsoft are the key players in the growing virtualization market, says a new report from Research and Markets. And they are fighting for share in a growing market, which is expected to double over the next five years.

According to the report, the virtualization market will surge from $1.3 billion this year to $2.6 billion by 2020.

That figures out to be a compound growth rate of nearly 15 percent a year.

(How it works: Watch this Red Hat video on virtualization at:

Why the growth?

“The most serious concern of today’s IT industries is to minimize the maintenance cost and maximize productivity,” Research and Markets says.

“To achieve this, it is important for an industry to optimally use its resources. There are diverse operating systems available in the market with their own set of operating environment, features, file system, registry, support to the applications, etc. This prevents the use of an application developed considering a specific operating system to be executed on another.

“To use such applications one need to switch among the operating systems that support the application. This is a very tedious task for the user. Application virtualization is the solution to this problem. It allows the execution of an application under a non-native operating system. It acts as an interface between the two.”

How virtualization works

“Application virtualization basically translates the machine code of the application written according to its native operating system into the machine code of the non-native operating system where it is intended to be executed by the user,” the firm explains.

“At the core of application virtualization, there are four important modules: input/output interface, graphics interface, hardware interface, and library functions interface. The main drivers of the market include the adoption of third platform among SMBs, decrease in administering cost of IT systems, licensing & support policies, and increase in speed and efficiency.”

Companies most interested in virtualization include: banks, financial service firms, insurance companies, healthcare, telecom, automotive and more.

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