Top 10 Issues Stalling Virtualization Adoption

Michael Vizard


For every IT issue that virtualization solves, it creates another problem. And after a wave of virtualization adoption, the new problems presented by virtualization are starting to take their toll on adoption.

Andi Mann, vice president for virtualization management marketing for CA Technologies, says that as 'virtualization stall' continues to occur he expects to see a period of digestion as IT organizations step back to assess how they will rise to meet the management challenges associated with large-scale virtualization.

Those challenges include how to manage virtual machines as they dynamically move across an enterprise network; coping with images that tend to dramatically increase in size over time; concerns about performance limitations on servers with limited amounts of memory; and ongoing resistance to virtualization among owners of applications that prefer to see a one-to-one relationship between their applications and the machines they run on.

Mann adds that many IT organizations are also uncomfortable with not only the lack of visibility they have into the way virtual machine software operates within their environment, but also the fact that virtual machine software introduces a layer of software that cuts off visibility between the application layer and the underlying infrastructure.

Nevertheless, server savings continue to drive interest in virtual machine software. But as Mann notes, without an effective way to manage those virtual machines, the cure can easily wind up being worse than the disease as virtual machine sprawl starts to choke the enterprise.

Mann says that the only effective approach to the problem is more structured approaches to IT management based on guidelines such as the IT infrastructure library (ITIL) specification and more reliance on IT automation tools. Where you once might have had one IT administrator for 10 servers, you're now looking at a scenario in which one IT administrator may have to manage 100 virtual servers. No IT organization can keep pace with that kind of growth without some increased reliance on IT automation.

In the meantime, Mann says he expects to see a period of virtualization stall through most of the this year as IT organizations try to figure how to take a more strategic approach to managing virtualization, as opposed to a tactical approach that solely focuses on reducing server costs without appreciating the total cost of virtualization ownership in the enterprise.

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Jun 23, 2010 7:06 PM Dave McCrory Dave McCrory  says:
Great job on this article Mike. I think that another issue is confusion between "private cloud" and virtualization, or rather that some people are looking at how to jump from physical equipment to cloud without realizing that virtualization is an enabler to getting to cloud (but virtualization isn't a cloud itself). But, since this was a "top 10" I can understand why it was left out. :) Best, Dave Reply
Jun 24, 2010 5:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous  says:
With all due respect it's a good effort but most of what was mentioned in this article isn't new news or even relevant to stalling virtualization adoption. ITIL is a waste of time (not sure why it's mentioned), if you've got Virtual Machine sprawl it's likely due to poor management or admins who don't know what they're doing. 1 IT administrator for 10 servers? If you had a model like that you'd be out of business. Whatever company has that admin model is way too heavy with IT staff and they have a bunch of no talents running the show. Virtualization stalling out has to do with economy, it's like any new technology that saves big money, consolidates efforts, saves resources, etc. Adoption might be slow in the beginning, it gains momentum, it ramps up increasing > > > >, it peaks (flat lines ----------- ), then it dies down / levels off. What can be virtualized has been virtualized and it's only the slackers and scardy'cats who haven't moved forward with it (yeah I said scardy'cats ha ha). Reply
Jun 24, 2010 6:06 PM Emil at Cloudshare Emil at Cloudshare  says:
Interesting points, Mike. A lot of them seem to do with the sheer size of major virtualization projects, which can be daunting to adopt and a challenge to continually manage, much less see the benefit of. I'm a marketing intern at Cloudshare, and what we've tried to do in telling customers about our cloud offerings is illustrate the ease of adoption as well as show some tangible ROI figures to help management make the leap to virtualize and reap the benefits of it in a reasonably short amount of time. I figure once you can show some small improvements and benefits, mass adoption can come soon afterwards. Here's a link to one of our ROI pieces. Curious to know if you think these kinds of figures can help companies make the jump. -Emil at Cloudshare Reply
Jun 26, 2010 8:53 AM vijay vijay  says: in response to Anonymous
I agree with you. Reply
Jun 27, 2010 2:02 PM Anonymous Anonymous  says: in response to Anonymous
I totally agree. This is just another cloud service marketing effort. Reply
Sep 2, 2010 9:09 PM Anonymouse Anonymouse  says:
Mike, that was a good, to-the-point, brief. Thanks. I was looking for a quick summary of the key points regarding VM Stall and I got it here (versus the tons of texty blog posts that state the same thing in a sprawl of words). I like your 10-pt slide format. Reply
Mar 15, 2012 9:03 AM Jin Micro Jin Micro  says:
Whatever company has that admin model is way too heavy with IT staff and they have a bunch of no talents running the show. Virtualization stalling out has to do with economy, it's like any new technology that saves big money. True I agree on this post. -Forex Contest Reply

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