Virtualization ROI hard to quantify

Organizations uncertain if their use of server virtualization technology was successful, survey finds

Server virtualization is becoming more popular in enterprise data centres, but a recent survey says that doesn't necessarily mean the technology has proven itself successful when deployed.

CA this week released the findings of a study showing that more than 40 percent of 800 IT organizations polled worldwide were uncertain if their use of server virtualization technology was successful.

"In fact, 44 percent of the organizations that have deployed server virtualization are unable to say whether or not the deployment has been successful -- pointing to problems with measurement negatively influencing server virtualization satisfaction levels [for example] measuring server and network infrastructure performance," reads the report, which The Strategic Counsel conducted on behalf of CA.

The research firm estimates that 39 percent of organizations with more than 500 employees have adopted server virtualization technology, and it expects that figure to grow by 20 percent over the next 18 months. Such uptake in the adoption of virtual servers will shine a light on some issues around managing the technology, the report says.

'The pattern of organizational server virtualization deployment has led to the creation of multiple, heterogeneous server virtualization environments within single organizations. That is the norm shown by the survey, not the exception," the report reads. "With heterogeneity comes management issues and constraints."

According to the survey, those organizations with heterogeneous server environments are already experiencing a few key management problems, including server sprawl, configuration workload changes, difficulties in reporting and staff skill set limitations. Specifically, 39 percent of organizations that run multiple server virtualization technologies indicated they suffer from server sprawl. Thirty-two percent said they suffer significantly increased difficulty with reporting, visibility and metrics to get a consistent view of server performance. And one-quarter reported increased configuration requirements and workloads as an "important constraint or issues to deal with." Lastly, 24 percent said they need to maintain multiple skill sets among staffers.

"The future of server virtualization will be just as much about virtualization itself as it is about managing multiple, heterogeneous server virtualization environments," the report concludes.

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