Enterprises Disappointed By Virtualisation Savings


A survey has found that the majority of enterprises are disappointed in virtualisation’s cost savings

In what may come as something of a surprise to its proponents, a new survey has revealed that most enterprises are disappointed at virtualisation cost savings.

The survey of 460 IT decision-makers, from midsize and large enterprises, found that more than 60 percent are disappointed in virtualisation’s cost savings.

Moreover, respondents said they believe that automation plays a key role in reaping the financial benefits of virtualisation and cloud computing.

Operational Nightmare?

IT management software and solutions specialist CA Technologies announced the results of the independently conducted research survey on the state of IT automation.

Nearly all (95 percent) respondents have implemented, are piloting or plan to implement virtualisation in their organisation. A large majority cited reducing costs (85 percent) and increasing server utilisation (84 percent) as the primary reasons to deploy virtualisation. However, 63 percent of respondents stated that they have not experienced as much savings as expected, and 5 percent said the complexities of virtualisation had actually introduced new costs.

“Virtualisation is a bean counter’s dream, but it can be an operational nightmare,” said respondent Ian Watts, senior technical manager of BT Americas. “Change management is a huge overhead, as any changes need to be accepted by all applications and users sharing the same virtualisation kit. While many organisations are seeing benefits from virtualisation, such as reduced hardware spending and improved server utilisation, these benefits often get overshadowed by the lack of productivity improvements in data centre staffing and operations.”

The survey indicated that there is a direct correlation between IT service automation in a virtualised environment and cost-savings. For example, 44 percent of survey respondents who said most of their server provisioning processes are automated report they have significantly reduced costs through virtualisation. Conversely, 48 percent of those who said the complexities of virtualisation have introduced new costs also said most of their server provisioning processes are manual.

Complexity Impact

“This survey further demonstrates that the promised benefits of virtualisation and cloud computing will be hard to realise without first standardising and automating routine IT processes,” said Roger Pilc, general manager of virtualisation and automation at CA Technologies. “Without automation, IT staff can be overwhelmed by the complexities and challenges of managing a highly distributed IT infrastructure consisting of virtual and physical servers, applications and dynamic cloud-based services. These complexities can negate any benefits organisations hope to realise as this data shows.”

Pilc said to become more efficient and to realise the full benefits from virtualisation and cloud computing, IT organisations need to automate and integrate the physical and virtual server configuration, provisioning, monitoring, security, software patching and more across a heterogeneous enterprise. “They need to reduce their reliance on manual processes, and implement tools and procedures that automate standard management and administrative tasks, as well as deliver consistent workload management,” he explained. “IT automation is needed to ease management across a variety of computing environments, including physical, virtual and cloud.”