November 20, 2008
    The benefits of server virtualization are great. We've heard most of it before - cost reduction, flexibility, etc. What IT professional wouldn't be interested in consolidating under-utilized servers, reducing energy consumption or reducing the physical size of the data center? Is there more we're missing?

    I believe Dan Kusnetzky brings up a good point: What's next after server virtualization? We're now getting into how do we understand and manage the virtual environment. I agree with Kusnetzky's assessment, and I believe many organizations are missing one complementary discipline - Capacity Management.

    It's the key to optimizing virtual environments. The constant flux and variables affecting services can affect IT resource allocation which makes Capacity Management important in virtual environments and to the business. How does IT know the impact of planned consolidation activities or understand what the application is doing inside the virtual machine?

    In a step toward improving the management of virtual systems, we set out to findhow IT managers are utilizing virtualization in their organizations. It wasn't surprising that respondents mentioned that proper planning is key for successful virtualization efforts. Forty percent of respondents noted that bottlenecks (events that impacted performance or end-user needs) are one of the top three challenges in deploying virtual systems. Fortunately, the survey also points out the effectiveness of tools to monitor and manage virtual systems as well as how organizations are measuring their efforts.

    You might be interested in more on the virtualization study.

    The Ovum survey results reinforce the point that up front Capacity Management is necessary to mitigate risk and maximize the ROI of virtualization efforts. Take a look at this story from writer Denise Dubie called "7 tips for succeeding with virtualization." If you have any thoughts, success stories, or tips for those working on virtualization projects, feel free to post comments on the TeamQuest Blog.