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Contributing Writer

Cloud Computing? We Still Haven’t Mastered Server Virtualization!

Oct 19, 20102 mins
Cisco SystemsData and Information SecurityServer Virtualization

ESG data reveals basic consolidation, not data center transformation

According to ESG Research, only 7% of the large mid-market (i.e. 500-1000 employees) and enterprise (i.e. 1,000 employees or more) are not using server virtualization technology and have no plans to do so. Alternatively, 61% are using server virtualization technology extensively in test/development AND production environments.Okay, so server virtualization technology is everywhere, but how are large organizations using it? Many technology vendors would have you believe that enterprises are using server virtualization is the on-ramp to cloud computing. The industry crows about server virtualization’s use for IT automation and self-service, as VMs are rapidly provisioned, dynamically re-configured, and moved constantly from physical server to physical server for load balancing and resource optimization.It’s a great vision, it just isn’t happening today. Most organizations use server virtualization for web applications and file and print services but far fewer have taken on transaction-oriented applications or databases. Many firms still struggle with performance issues when trying to align physical networks, storage devices, and servers with virtualization technology. As for VM mobility (i.e. vMotion), only 30% of the organizations surveyed by ESG use VM mobility on a regular basis. Why eschew VM mobility? It turns out that 24% of organizations say they have no need to use VM mobility functionality at this time.The ESG data does suggest that server virtualization represents paradigm shift driving huge changes in IT organizations, processes, and technologies, but these transitions will take time to work their way out. Many enterprises will get to a state of more dyanamic data center transformation — around 2013 or so. Take my word for it, the IT rhetoric around server virtualization is visionary hype rather than actual reality. I’ve got tons of data to back this up. There are more average Joe IT shops out there than whiz-bang organizations like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft and there always will be.

Contributing Writer

Jon Oltsik is a distinguished analyst, fellow, and the founder of the ESG’s cybersecurity service. With over 35 years of technology industry experience, Jon is widely recognized as an expert in all aspects of cybersecurity and is often called upon to help customers understand a CISO's perspective and strategies. Jon focuses on areas such as cyber-risk management, security operations, and all things related to CISOs.

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