May 2010 Virtualization of x86 architecture servers has been an extremely dynamic market (and a major trend) since VMware introduced its server products in 2001. For several years, competition was very limited. However, since 2006 (with the first commercial versions of Xen) and 2008 (with the release of Microsofts Hyper-V), very viable alternative choices have emerged. Initially used just for cost reduction, server virtualization is now also being used to speed up operational processes and server deployment, create disaster recovery solutions where they didnt exist before, and improve server availability. x86 architecture server virtualization is now considered a mainstream trend (roughly 25% of the market is penetrated), and the strategic path from server virtualization to cloud computing is becoming more apparent to enterprises.