Nearly all (95 percent) respondents have implemented, are piloting, or plan to implement virtualization in their organization. A large majority cited reducing costs (85 percent) and increasing server utilization (84 percent) as the primary reasons to deploy virtualization. However, 63 percent of respondents stated that they have not experienced as much savings as expected, and five percent said the complexities of virtualization had actually introduced new costs.
“Virtualization is a bean counter’s dream, but it can be an operational nightmare,” stated respondent Ian Watts, senior technical manager of BT Americas, Inc. “Change management is a huge overhead, as any changes need to be accepted by all applications and users sharing the same virtualization kit. While many organizations are seeing benefits from virtualization, such as reduced hardware spending and improved server utilization, these benefits often get overshadowed by the lack of productivity improvements in data center staffing and operations.”
The Need for Automation
The survey shows there is a direct correlation between IT service automation in a virtualized environment and cost-savings. For example, 44 percent of survey respondents who said most of their server provisioning processes are automated report they have significantly reduced costs through virtualization. Conversely, 48 percent of those who said the complexities of virtualization have introduced new costs also said most of their server provisioning processes are manual.
“This survey further demonstrates that the promised benefits of virtualization and cloud computing will be hard to realize without first standardizing and automating routine IT processes,” said Roger Pilc, general manager, Virtualization and Automation, CA Technologies. “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. These complexities can negate any benefits organizations hope to realize as this data shows.”
A New Approach is Required
To become more efficient and to realize the full benefits from virtualization and cloud computing, IT organizations need to automate and integrate the physical and virtual server configuration, provisioning, monitoring, security, software patching and more across a heterogeneous enterprise. They need to reduce their reliance on manual processes, and implement tools and procedures that automate standard management and administrative tasks, as well as deliver consistent workload management. IT automation is needed to ease management across a variety of computing environments, including physical, virtual and cloud.
*About the Survey
The survey was conducted by UBM TechWeb on behalf of CA Technologies. UBM TechWeb was responsible for all programming and data analysis. These procedures were carried out in strict accordance with standard market research practices. The full results of the survey are available in a webcast and a free report entitled The State of IT Automation.