Virtualization in the data center is growing, but lack of management will present 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 study, which surveyed 411 enterprise data center decision makers, found that although 45 percent of respondents have implemented virtualization technology, few are using automated management tools to improve efficiency and resource utilization in the data center.
"Effectively managing a data center has been a challenge for some time, however, the challenge increases with the use of physical and virtual machines in heterogeneous environments," said Drue Reeves, Vice President and Research Director for the Burton Group. "Server virtualization introduces a whole new world of resource mobility and growth. Data center management software must scale to reduce the complexity associated with virtualization-induced server sprawl and enable the automated, dynamic data center."
The 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 percent of participants reported they either manually track or do not track server resource consumption, and 79 percent of respondents report they either manually manage or do not manage the reallocation of server workloads based on available resources.
Possibly as a reaction to manual management challenges, the study indicates a move toward more automated management is taking hold. In fact, survey results show that 72 percent of respondents will implement automated software patching and updates in the next two years. In addition, 75 percent 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.
"Virtualization brings opportunities to data center managers that other technologies have yet to deliver," said Richard Whitehead, director of product marketing at Novell. "However, as shown by survey respondents, virtualization also brings a host of management challenges. To fully reap the benefits of virtualization, data center managers need a comprehensive strategy, from virtualization straight through to automated management tools."
Other data center management highlights of the study:
The report is available at http://www.novell.com/dca.
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