Over the past few years, we've heard a ton about virtualization. While it still is a relatively small bit of the market, virtualized servers and services has claims from all sides saying it is going to be the “next big thing”. With giants like AMD, Intel, Microsoft and IBM pushing it, that's probably true.

Just how big will it get, however? According to the IDC, they predict that virtualization will command a massive $11.7 Billion market within the next four years. That's an awfully short time for such a big piece.

The press release details their analysis and why they are predicting this, with a lot of weight being put into the virtualization of x86 and x86-64 servers. They also claim that the evolving market is rapidly changing their mind regarding virtualized services, and seeing the benefits they could provide.

While $11.7 Billion is no small figure, it doesn't surprise me at all. All sorts of modern problems, such as space premiums at datacenters, power-hungry machines needing consolidation, redundancy and a host of others, all have virtualization as a potential solution. It isn't a magic wand, but with every major player leaning that direction it can only get big.