Industry awareness of virtual server sprawl is increasing. Actually, we suspect that most IT managers have known all along that replacing physical servers with virtual ones was merely swapping one problem for another. But the power and space benefits of virtualization justified its development, even if some of the stickier details still had to be worked out.
Now, the time has come for the industry to take a serious look at the management issues surrounding banks of virtual servers, many of which are more complex than those that plagued the physical realm.
At least the vendor commmunity, which pitched virtualization in the first place, is now stepping up to the plate with concrete proposals on virtual management. Recent statements from Dell and IBM point to the fact that they are at least aware of the problem and are working on solutions. Other vendors, like Symantec and VMware, are approaching the problem from a different angle -- as a means to boost disaster recovery or security functions -- but the outcome is the same: effective tools to manage data infrastructure.
It is incumbent on every data center manager to recognize that the benefits of virtualization could quickly turn into detriments unless there is a clear understanding of the requirements of data management and the policies and processes needed to ensure the smooth flow of information.