I came across an interesting article at Enterprise Networks & Servers that finally brings out into the open an aspect of virtualization that I always suspected was there, but no one wanted to talk about.
It seems that the more engrossed you become in virtual technology -- the more servers you partition, the more storage you provision -- you eventually run into a data management wall; that is, the management systems designed for the physical world simply don't hold up under a massive influx of sources and destinations.
What's needed, according to this piece written by Joe Wagner of Novell, is a new breed of data center automation that can provide things like OS image lifecycle management and rapid service deployment. A single, overarching automation stack should be able to do everything from manage virtual machines to coordinate workload environments and even monitor hardware operational efficiency.
Usually, when a vendor-written piece appears in a leading trade identifying a need for some system or another, it's a pretty good indication that the vendor is on the cusp of delivering on that need. We'll have to keep a close eye on Novell to see what it comes up with.