Once heralded as one of the technologies expected to reshape enterprise IT, it seems the expectations of virtualization are returning to earth. And, according to a recent study from CA Technologies, many IT professionals are displeased with the results.
In a survey of 460 IT decision-makers conducted by UBM TechWeb, 95 percent of respondents said they had implemented or were in the planning stages of deploying some form of virtualization within their organization. Eighty-five percent said the technology had been implemented to reduce costs, while 84 percent said they were seeking to increase server virtualization.
However, it seems that many of these intentions have not been realized. According to the report, nearly two-thirds of respondents indicated they were not satisfied with the financial benefits of virtualization. Moreover, 5 percent of respondents said deploying virtualization actually led to higher costs.
One of the main criticisms of virtualization, the study found, was a lack of automation. Businesses that have introduced automation to their virtual machines generally found it easier to realize the financial benefits of the technology. Those that don't use automation, however, often found the technology to be too complex and difficult.
There are several virtualization processes the report recommended companies automate, including server configuring, security, monitoring and software patching. By doing so, companies' virtualization deployments may be more likely to live up to their expectations.
"Without automation, IT staff can be overwhelmed by the complexities and challenges of managing a highly distributed IT infrastructure consisting of virtual and physical servers, applications and dynamic cloud-based services," said CA Technologies general manager of virtualization and automation Roger Pilc. "These complexities can negate any benefits organizations hope to realize as this data shows."
CA Technologies' report reflects the sentiment recently expressed by technology blogger Bruce Boyers. On his Fragmentation Blog, Boyers asserted that cost savings are achievable through virtualization, but companies must ensure virtual machines are running efficiently for this to occur.