Virtualization Not as Easy as 1-2-3
- By Kathleen Hickey
- September 25, 2008
Technology executives are turning to virtual systems to lower costs and reduce
energy costs, but issues with the technology remain, according to a survey which
also found companies struggling with service and power consumption issues.
Technology operations management provider Avocent's survey, conducted by Actionable
Research, polled 299 executives and technology managers in the United States
in the government, manufacturing, high-technology, retail, banking, health care
and education sectors.
Respondents saw virtualization technology as a solution to reducing costs,
particularly hardware costs, and saving energy. A majority of respondents have
rolled out some level of server virtualization; 33 percent of companies implemented
the technology to save energy.
However, respondents found the new technology was not perfect. Of those using
virtualization technology, 24 percent have experienced a disappearance of a
virtual server from their system, and 18 percent reported having permanently
lost a virtual server. Additionally, 45 percent of respondents said they had
concerns about the lack of expertise that IT personnel had with virtualization;
44 percent said they were concerned that virtual servers could fail from a component
failure in a single physical server.
Monitoring power usage and keeping networks up and running were other challenges
for those polled. The survey found that many administrators lack the tools they
need to properly manage power usage in data centers, with only 55 percent of
respondents saying they are able monitor power usage today, and then mostly
at the universal power supply level
Survey respondents said that energy conservation was the most difficult issue
to resolve with their current tools, with managing the total cost of power the
second most difficult task. Eighty-three percent consider the ability to measure
power consumption at the entire data center level as "valuable" or
Keeping networks connected is another constant challenge for government technology
executives. Thirty-five percent of organizations polled lost mission-critical
data due to unplanned downtime.