The market for software that allows one machine to host multiple operating systems rose in 2005 by 67 percent, topping the previous record set in 2004 of 63 percent growth new research indicates.

According to a study by market research firm, IDC, the worldwide virtual machine software (VMS) market grew to $560 million in 2005, indicating VMS as a viable solution for IT services.

The growth in the dynamic VMS market will continue as organizations increasingly deploy VMS as a means of decoupling the application stack from the underlying hardware, said John Humphreys, research director for IDC's Enterprise Computing group.

EMC/Vmware was the top vendor in 2005, amassing a market share greater than 55 percent, according to IDC. EMC's ability to support many operating environments concurrently on industry-standard systems, reinforced by partnerships with almost every leading hardware supplier contributed to that performance, the study shows.

Additionally, IDC stated that Linux-based solutions experienced the fastest growth, while North American organizations purchased over half of all VMS products.

Recently, semiconductor firms Intel Corp. and AMD Inc. announced new versions of their server grade processor products with built in virtualization support.