Virtualization Technology News and Information
VKernel Issues First Virtualization Management Index
VKernel, the number-one provider of capacity management products for virtualized data centers, today issued its first Virtualization Management Index (VMI) report. Using data drawn from over 2,500 virtualized environments representing over 550,000 virtual machines, the first VMI paints a picture of significant resource underutilization in virtualized environments. If not corrected, this resource underutilization represents a significant ROI risk factor as companies move to virtualize more mission critical applications.

Proper capacity management is critical to virtualized environments both to maintain performance but also to hit ROI targets. As companies deploy more and more virtualized hosts, the capability exists to deliver true mainframe class capacity management driving up resource utilization and lowering costs. Yet, in this first Virtualization Management Index (VMI) report, significant under utilization of resources was uncovered including:

  • Average VM densities of just 2 VMs per core
  • Allocated/actual memory of just 0.7
  • Over 40% of all VMs had over allocated CPU and memory

Specifically, all gains in VM density per host were mainly due to increasing core densities delivered by the hardware manufacturers and not related to improvement in capacity management processes.

The perceived constraining resource in the sample is memory with organizations hesitant to increase their memory allocation above 70%. A majority of the hardware environment was composed of dual socket, quad core systems with 50GB of memory, connected to 2TB of storage. The low amount of memory per server is driven by the higher costs of denser memory leading many organizations to trade off cores for memory. Yet the data shows this trade off could be a poor bargain as severs end up being CPU rich but memory poor thereby constraining consolidation ratios. Enterprises should undertake exhaustive TCO analysis to determine if paying for high density memory is offset by the lower operating and capital costs of having fewer servers in their data center.

There were some bright spots in the analysis with “high density” environments identified. These environments:

  • Represented 3.7% of the sample
  • Had a CPU and memory allocation/actual ratios of greater than 3 and 1 respectively
  • Suffered no performance issues related to a lack of capacity
  • Had 25.5 VMs/host compared to the average of 15.6/host
  • Had a cost/VM that was 50% lower than the average

"Most organizations have migrated basic IT functions to virtualized platforms representing about 30% of their environment," said Alex Bakman, CTO and Founder of VKernel. "The next phase of virtualization will require migrating more mission critical and resource intensive applications. If the same low resource utilization patterns we see in this analysis continue, advanced virtualization projects will fail to achieve meaningful return on investment. This should be of concern to any IT director or VP looking to increase the virtualization footprint of their data center."

A copy of the first VMI report can be downloaded from

Registration for a webinar entitled "Best in Class Resource Utilization in Virtualized Environments" here: 

For an analysis of capacity management effectiveness in virtual environments, download a 30-day trial of award-winning VKernel Capacity Management Suite from

Published Wednesday, December 15, 2010 5:29 PM by David Marshall
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