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IT Managers Fear They Aren't Prepared To Operate VM Environments

Some 48% of survey respondents said their chief challenge in Tier 1 production environments is to isolate problems of root cause within virtualized systems.
Virtualization may be taking IT organizations by storm, but it's by no means a perfect storm, according to a new survey of IT managers, many of whom say they aren't prepared to operate environments that include both physical and virtual elements.

Conducted by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), which polled 150 business professionals, the survey found that just 24% of the respondents felt "very confident" their existing management tools are sufficient for their current IT service levels. The confidence factor percentage doubled, however, when IT managers used specialized management tools for VMware environments.

That still leaves the majority of IT managers still seeking ways to boost their confidence and expertise in virtualization.

"As virtualization technologies continue to be deployed in larger and more complex production environments, greater emphasis will be placed on the day-to-day management needs of these environments," said ESG analyst Bob Laliberte in a statement. "Specifically, the requirement for operations teams to have complete visibility of the virtual infrastructure and how that maps to the physical infrastructure will be critical."

The survey results were released by EMC at the recent Interop NY 2008 and VMWorld trade shows.

Some 48% of survey respondents said their chief challenge in Tier 1 production environments is to isolate problems of root cause within server virtualized environments. In addition, the survey took note of IT managers' desire to map virtual machines to physical infrastructures like servers and applications, storage management, virtual security, and application performance monitoring.

EMC also observed that it offers management solutions for VMware infrastructures aimed at seamlessly blending virtualization support into EMC IT management offerings.

A key asset for IT managers building their virtualization capability is ControlCenter 6.1, which supports EMC Symmetrix Virtual Provisioning, EMC said.

Bob Quillan, senior director of product marketing at EMC's Resource Management Software unit, said in an e-mail that most IT teams are now pleased with the domain and element management tools used to manage the company's Vserver or Vstorage products.

"The ROI on storage and server virtualization deployments is so high -- in terms of infrastructure consolidation and capital costs -- that installation is not the issue," he said. "The challenge is clearly now moving to the operational management side."