Businesses ‘struggle’ to manage virtualisation

Over half of UK businesses have not had time to adjust their datacentre management to fit a virtualised environment, according to new research.

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Over half of UK businesses have not had time to adjust their datacentre management to fit a virtualised environment, leaving them struggling to cope, according to new research.

An alarming 51 percent said time has prevented them from taking the right steps to manage their datacentres appropriately after virtualising servers. A high 67 percent of IT directors did not know how many virtual machines their company ran.

The infrastructure management problem exists in spite of 56 percent of firms using a system to help keep track of virtual machines.

Part of the problem, the research said, was that over a third of businesses have decentralised virtual machine management, meaning people could create and remove virtual machines without overall IT management awareness. Financial companies were particularly keen on a decentralised model, with over 55 percent having decentralised virtual machine management.

The research found that many firms feared other issues that might come up after virtualising machines. Four in ten worried that they would not have the right data backup environment in place, nearly a quarter feared server failure, and 23 percent were concerned over the risks of not having comprehensive management tools to manage changes, configuration and patching. Some 14 percent were worried about being locked into one vendor’s technology.

Cutting costs was the main factor behind virtualisation, with over half of businesses having employed virtualisation for that reason, said the Vanson Bourne report, for which 100 IT directors were surveyed. And 19 percent said virtualisation made infrastructure management easier, with 17 percent making the move to reduce the space taken up by servers.

Tom Brand, senior consultant at IT services firm Morse, which commissioned the research, told Computerworld UK: “Many organisations have no clear virtualisation strategy in place. IT directors are worrying most about data backup and vendor lock-in, when the actual management of systems needs to be right first of all before they can do anything.

“Virtualisation offers a lot of benefits but businesses need to review their entire infrastructure and processes, particularly lifecycle management, especially when the number of vendors and products in the market is becoming more complicated,” he continued.