Missing standards, scant automation, and weak management tools make this next step beyond server virtualization a challenge.
Almost half of companies buy into the broader vision of a private cloud, finds our InformationWeek 2011 Virtualization Management Survey of 396 business technology pros. By private cloud, we mean an internal network that combines compute, storage, and other data center resources with high virtualization, hardware integration, automation, monitoring, and orchestration. But getting there with today's technology will be tough. We'll look at the range of problems IT faces, such as multivendor environments, limited automation, and still-emerging technology and standards.
Standards are scarce indeed, making every purchasing decision dicey. You must understand how every component interacts with every other component, but since extensive server virtualization has increased operational complexity, this can be an extraordinarily difficult thing to get your arms around. IT teams looking to conventional network and systems management products for help are finding that these expensive tools are inadequate to the task at hand.
"The only savings realized from virtualization is fewer physical servers," says one respondent to our survey. "Costs have increased via more expensive servers with bigger I/O and more memory, added cost of the hypervisor, and a much more difficult time to resolve problems when they occur."
VMware is still the go-to vendor when IT organizations talk enterprise-class server virtualization.Only 36% of the respondents to our survey have secondary hypervisors in use at their companies. But Citrix and Microsoft are closing the gap.
Asked to rate the importance of a dozen virtualization features, survey respondents cited high availability as No. 1 and price a very close second. ...