Virtualization Interest Grows Among SMBs
SMB interest in virtualization is high, but the actual progress of adoption has been somewhat slow.
Not too long ago, conventional wisdom held that one of the benefits of virtual machines was that they created a layer of software above the operating system on which IT organizations could more effectively standardize. The assumption was that this would then make the overall IT environment less complex to manage.
In reality, virtualization sprawl wound up making the overall IT environment more complex and as the number of virtual machines increased, the licensing fees associated with VMware in particular have become an issue.
The end result is that alternative virtual machines are starting to gain momentum, including the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) approach from Red Hat that is starting to gain traction in Linux environments.
Randy Clark, chief marketing officer for UC4 Software, a provider of IT automation tools, says all this new-found diversity in the virtualization world will serve to increase the need for IT automation tools that span multiple virtual machine environments. To that end, UC4 just added support for KVM to the UC4 IT automation engine. In addition, UC4 is lending its support to the Open Virtualization Alliance, which was recently formed to promote KVM adoption.
Right now, a lot of the virtualization diversity that is taking place is tied to specific platforms that now support a free virtual machine alternative to VMware. But Clark says that as a sea of change takes place in terms of both the number and types of virtual machines that are being deployed, IT organizations will need to orchestrate processes across multiple virtual machines and the platforms they run, which is going to be prohibitively expensive to accomplish while relying on existing manual IT processes.