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Challenging Economy Will Drive Virtualization Management Market in 2009

What do virtualization executives think about 2009?  A VMBlog.com Series Exclusive.

Contributed by Alex Bakman, founder and CEO of VKernel

Challenging Economy Will Drive Virtualization Management Market in 2009

Some industry experts are saying that virtualization is almost a recession proof technology.  While I don’t completely buy into that thinking, there are many core benefits to virtualization that can help organizations control costs, which will keep virtualization at the top of every organizations’ IT project list.  However, it is absolutely essential to have the right tools in place for managing the virtual infrastructure to take full advantage of the financial benefits.

There is no doubt that we are in for a challenging year in 2009.  The economic turmoil seen in the last half of 2008 is having a drastic effect on 2009 IT budgets.  In most cases, IT will only be allowed to spend on certain key technologies.  The good news is that many of the people I have been talking to are all saying that virtualization projects will not move to the back burner.  However, there will be less money available, which means IT will have to do more with less – we’ve heard that term before.  What that means now is that organizations will need to get more out of their existing virtualization hardware and software investments and that every additional spend will be highly scrutinized and must be fully justified.

2009: The Year of Virtualization Management
When times were good, organizations did not think twice about spending money on virtualization projects.  In fact, most organization would purposely overspend for the sole purpose of over-allocating resource capacity so that performance levels would not suffer.  IT could justify this when budgets were not constrained, because there are inherent risks in transitioning application servers from physical to virtual.  This risk is magnified when the virtualization environment is not properly managed.

What we saw in 2008 was a proliferation of management solutions introduced throughout the year from both vendors large and small.  Both VMware and Microsoft also started talking about the importance of managing the virtual infrastructure in the second half of the year.  Why, because properly managing the virtual infrastructure will have a huge impact on pushing more virtualization projects forward.  Organizations need visibility into how resources are being utilized not only for current planning, but also for what is next.

So, why is 2009 the year of virtualization management?  The reason is simple; organizations must get all they can out of their existing virtualization investments without impacting performance.  Because so many virtualization environments are currently over-allocated, organizations are not seeing the return on investment (ROI) they had hope for.  Costs per virtual machines have actually not deviated much from provisioning a new physical server as it is quite common that expensive virtual servers are less than 50 percent utilized.  It will become increasingly important to safely increase virtual machine densities to lower the cost per virtual machine to more rapidly achieve an ROI.  Management tools will be essential to assisting IT groups to do this. 

Visibility into both current as well as future resource utilization will help organizations figure out where they have the excess resource capacity and how they can use it to increase virtual machine densities without degrading performance. If an organization can quickly see where they can safely add X number of more virtual machines, they can immediately get that much more out of their existing virtualization investment.  Also, by knowing what resources are being used and how much it costs, organizations can better justify future virtualization hardware and software spending.

As companies look to control costs, management of the virtualization infrastructure becomes critical.  The management vendors that will have success will be the ones that are both flexible and affordable to help rapidly solve these types of issues. 

About Alex Bakman
Alex is founder and CEO of VKernel, a software company dedicated to developing best-of-breed virtual appliances that enhance performance, lower costs, and simplify management of virtual environments of all sizes. Alex is a recognized expert in computer security, virtualization, and systems management. He holds many US and international patents and is a frequent speaker at VMWorld, ISACA, TechEd, ITSMF and ITExpo. A serial entrepreneur and visionary, Alex founded Ecora Software and CleverSoft, a software company acquired by Candle Corporation.

Published Friday, December 12, 2008 5:45 AM by David Marshall
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