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InfoWorld Virtualization Report Speaks with EMA's Andi Mann

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Andi Mann, Senior Analyst at Enterprise Management Associates. For those of you who may not know them, EMA is a leading IT Analyst firm specializing in IT management issues. Andi heads up EMA's Systems Management practice, and is the author of several reports on virtualization, including last year's ground-breaking 130-page research study "Virtualization: Exposing the Intangible Enterprise", and the recent 4-page advisory note "Is Virtualization Right For You? The Top Ten Questions You Should Ask."

Q. What do you think is behind the current boom in virtualization?

A. Well, some 'common wisdom' - which seems to be based on little more than guesswork - says it is all about cost savings - server consolidation, floor space, things like that. But EMA's research actually shows pretty convincingly that is not true. For most businesses it is primarily about strategic business values like flexibility, agility, and business continuity. You can never ignore direct costs, but they appear to be secondary to these more strategic goals. That's one reason why we advise our clients to look at virtualization as a strategy, not a project.

Q. What do you mean by that - can you explain the difference a little bit more?

A. I have been telling my clients for almost 18 months that virtualization is a strategy, not a project; it is about the whole business, not just about IT; it is about long-term benefits, not necessarily short-term savings. For example, once you have finished a server consolidation project with virtualization, you are left with a half-empty data center, and a sunk cost in virtualization technologies and skills - so how do you keep leveraging that investment? Enterprises need to consider how they can use virtualization to make their entire business better for the long-run, not just about how they can finish their server consolidation project.

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Read the rest of my interesting interview with this analyst, here.  More on the InfoWorld Virtualization Report.

Published Monday, July 30, 2007 6:28 PM by David Marshall
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