The Virtualization Paradox

Michael Vizard

IT organizations can save money on hardware by deploying virtual machine software. But managing virtual machine software can be complex. And a shortage of IT professionals skilled in virtualization presents IT organizations with an interesting conundrum. The more they embrace virtualization, the more expensive IT labor costs become.


As we approach the opening of VMworld 2010 conference, there is a sense of stall pervading virtualization. Many IT organizations have moved relatively simple applications, such as file servers, to virtual machines. But more complex applications are still running mostly on physical servers. In fact, only about 30 percent of the servers in larger enterprises are running virtual machine software. For virtualization to be more widely adopted, IT needs tools that automate the deployment and management of virtual machine software.


One company trying to address the deployment issue is Prowess, a provider of Smart Deploy Enterprise tools that automate the deployment of application images on both virtual and physical servers.


According to Prowess CEO Aaron Suzuki, not only will the virtual machine images that need to be deployed become increasingly complex to manage, they will need to be deployed across diverse hardware running a variety of virtual machine software from VMware, Microsoft, Citrix, Red Hat and Oracle. This means IT organizations must embrace automation to keep pace with that increased complexity.


There are a raft of virtualization-management tools available, but far too many IT organizations don't have the needed skills to use them. In fact, a recent survey of IT managers found that a managed service for virtualization was at the top of their wish lists.

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