Virtualization Increasing; Inefficiency Persists

Oct. 3, 2007
Data center inefficiency and lack of expertise, automation present major challenges

While virtualization usage is increasing in the enterprise, inefficient management of data centers and virtual environments continues to be a burden, according to a recently published study by Lighthouse Research. The survey of 411 enterprise data center decision-makers found that although 45% of respondents have implemented virtualization technology, few are using automated management tools to improve efficiency and resource utilization in the data center.

The Lighthouse study, sponsored by Novell, shows that as organizations move to adopt server virtualization, the main challenges they face include lack of expertise, difficulty managing virtual servers and having a single point of failure. This is compounded by the fact that 61% of participants reported they either manually track or do not track server resource consumption, and 79% of respondents report they either manually manage or do not manage the reallocation of server workloads based on available resources.

However, 72% of respondents indicated that they will implement automated software patching and updates in the next two years. In addition, 75% also intend to increase the efficiency of their data center by using automated server monitoring, which is essential to combat the management complications exacerbated by virtualization technology.

Other study highlights:

  • Environmental concerns are a high priority, with enterprises evaluating data center management solutions on the ability to save space (67%) and power (65%).
  • Data center managers are also looking for solutions that help them address business/IT concerns by allowing them to save time and manpower (87%) and money (82%).
  • Enterprise companies are looking for key features in a data center management tool, including: secured management capabilities (89%), remote access and management (86%), compatibility with multiple operating systems and platforms (85%), automated monitoring and reporting (81%), and policy-based automated software using preset thresholds (72%).
  • More than one half of companies not currently using virtualization report they are considering the use of server virtualization in the future.
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