Why is Your Virtualization Effort Stalled: What's the barrier?

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In an effort to consolidate their servers, organizations start by virtualizing their low-risk, low-impact systems. These Web servers, file servers, internal applications, and test machines generally make up about one-third of the total number of servers. Low-impact servers don’t require 100% control over how the data is moving from host-to-host. These systems deploy quickly and without fuss, winning over IT and business owners, who then set loftier goals for virtualizing more business-critical applications.

However, in the next stage companies begin to realize that virtualizing mission-critical systems is very different than low-risk, low-impact systems because they require higher levels of expertise and technical resources to deploy and manage the applications. While enterprises recognize the financial benefits derived from virtualization, they simply aren’t comfortable virtualizing their most critical applications due to the complexity and urgency of the data and the applications’ functions.

A phenomenon known as “virtualization stall” (see diagram below) hits many organizations around 30% into deployment, as Forrester Research recently confirmed when it found the average enterprise has virtualized only 30% of their servers.

While there are many reasons why organizations have difficulty getting past the virtualization stall barrier, three reasons stand out:

  • Risk aversion
  • Efficient management tooling
  • Skilled virtualization resources

These items taken together combine to limit the benefits organizations could obtain from virtualization. Is your business stuck at this virtualization barrier? Here are some indicators that an organization is experiencing virtualization stall:

  • Restrictions on the use of virtualization
  • Unable to fill virtualization management positions
  • Cloud projects are delayed because of virtualization management limitations
  • Concerns expressed about meeting internal or external SLAs if virtualization is expanded

Stay tuned for my next post where I will discuss why businesses should care about Virtualization Stall and how you can push past it.

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