More than half of IT organisations are using virtualisation technologies, according to a supplier-sponsored survey.

Rackspace sponsored a study of 245 customers of its managed hosting business and found that 57% of their internal infrastructures were virtualised. Of those surveyed, 72% said they would host business-critical applications on virtual machines.

In the "of-course you would say that" category, 71% of the respondents said they would prefer to host those mission-critical applications on a virtualised platform provided by a managed hosting provider such as RackSpace.

Not surprisingly, of those respondents who had not used virtualisation yet, 64% said they would like to try it with assistance from a hosting provider.

The survey pointed up some surprising results, too.

More than 50% of respondents said they wouldn't want to share a virtualised physical server with other hosting customers, citing performance and security for their reluctance to share a virtualised environment.

Only 13% of the respondents said they would have no hesitation sharing a virtualised environment with other customers.

The survey showed that 60% of respondents use VMware, 14% use Microsoft Virtual Server and 11% use the open source Xen hypervisor or the commercially available Xen Enterprise to virtualise their environments.

The highest use of virtualisation is for testing and development (37%), followed by web serving applications at 22% and application servers at 12%.

Rackspace expects to offer virtualisation services for its customers that draw off the survey results – the offering is presently in beta test.