The Virtualization Management Challenge

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Top 10 Benefits of Virtualization

Virtualization has taken a firm hold at most enterprises these days, but the fact is we've only just begun to unleash the true potential of the technology.

While there is an ongoing debate over just how much the inability to manage virtual machines is holding back virtualization adoption, the one thing that everybody seems to be able to agree on is that managing virtual machines is going to be a significant challenge in 2011.

The debate stems from the fact that surveys seem to suggest that once an IT organization starts running virtual machine software on 30 percent or more of its servers, the challenges associated with managing those virtual servers becomes a significant issue. After all, where you might have had 30 physical servers, you could have nine of those physical servers running four or more virtual servers. So in effect, you have added another 36 virtual servers that need to be managed.

Clearly this virtualization management issue is going to be a bigger problem for larger companies than smaller ones, which is one of the reasons we just saw the IT services firm Capgemini launch a virtualization management practice in partnership with VMware.

Martin Snellgrove, global virtualization lead for Capgemini, says IT organizations are starting to look for a more holistic approach to virtualization management that will encompass both private and public cloud computing deployments. In addition, Snellgrove says many of them need help making the case for running mission-critical applications on virtual machines because application owners are still skeptical of virtualization.

Application owners, says Snellgrove, can see how virtualization benefits the internal IT department. But many of them are wondering why they should incur the risk of tinkering with enterprise applications that, from their perspective, are working just fine in their current incarnation.

Ultimately, Snellgrove says the shift towards managing IT infrastructure as a service via the introduction of virtualization has to be seen as a journey. And like most IT journeys, it might not ever really end.