Management of virtual servers not up to snuff

Management of virtual servers not up to snuff

A little over half of 300 chief information officers and other top IT executives interviewed worldwide rate management of their virtual server environment as critical or high priority, but only 45 per cent indicated their organizations are doing an effective job here. That was among the conclusions of a new study provided by CA, which makes virtualization management solutions. It focused its study on the largest global enterprises, where the technology has taken root.Eighty-eight per cent of U.S. respondents told CA that they are currently investing or planning to invest in virtualization technology while on a worldwide that percentage drops to 64 per cent of surveyed.

It has been estimated that 10 per cent of organizations in North America have invested in server virtualization but the number drops down to five per cent on a worldwide basis, stated Nasser Ansari, principal product manager at CA.

Forty-nine per cent of respondents indicated that application development represents the number one reason why their organizations are undertaking virtualization, followed by 44 per cent who point to non-mission-critical business services in production and 32 per cent who mention mission-critical business services in production.

“The more mature customers with two to three years of experience at virtualization will start putting their mission-critical applications, their databases and also their enterprise applications [into virtualization],” stated Ansari.

Among the mission-critical business services cited by respondents to be used in a virtualized environment are IT infrastructure management (53 per cent) followed by customer service (49 per cent) and accounting/finance (48 per cent).

Worldwide, servers are top of mind when it comes to important areas to virtualize among 74 per cent of respondents, followed by storage at 60 per cent. This is not a surprising finding considering the links between the two hardware devices, stated Ansari.

“Server consolidation projects are driving the technology on the storage side.”

Following servers and storage, the other priorities reported by respondents worldwide are applications (49 per cent), the entire enterprise data center (43 per cent), I/O network (35 per cent); application grids (35 per cent); files (33 per cent) and desktop (31 per cent).

Success is however another matter all together. While 74 per cent regarded servers as a priority, 56 per cent stated having experienced a successful server virtualization implementation. Similarly, 60 per cent pointed to storage virtualization as a priority but only 43 per cent told CA that implementation had been successful.

The primary drivers for virtualization, reported survey respondents are easier hardware provisioning and software deployment (51 per cent), lower cost of total ownership (47 per cent), optimizing system performance (46 per cent) and the result of server consolidation initiatives (45 per cent).

Fifty-six per cent of respondents told CA they are using multiple platforms/vendors for server virtualization management, while 35 per cent remain standardized on one platform.

Also, 68 per cent rate the importance of centralizing the management of multi-platform virtualized or physical environments as critical or very important.

Meanwhile, security for 42 per cent of respondents represents the most significant challenge in managing server virtualization initiatives, followed by optimizing system utilization at 40 per cent and managing diverse infrastructure 40 per cent.

Ansari pointed to some other differences between U.S. and worldwide trends in virtualization.

“Worldwide, companies are most likely to be using virtualization within an application development environment. U.S. respondents are more likely than those in other regions to be using virtualization in production to support non-mission-critical as well as mission-critical applications. U.S. respondents are also more likely to be using virtualization to support business continuity and disaster recovery efforts.”

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