Thursday, May 11, 2006

Virtualization is not a technology issue

Infoworld have a fascinating article about Server Virtualization. A survey carried out by INS identified six major hurdles in adopting server virtualization. What is most interesting is the fact that the biggest hurdles are not related to the technology. The top two reasons holding back the adoption of server virtualization center around the staffing and skills. Potential adopters face challenges finding staff that are sufficiently experienced in the implementation of server virtualization. The next biggest challenge, which may be complicated by staff inexperience, is in analyzing candidate applications. In a production environment reliability is paramount. This can create a reluctance to disturb the environment. The other factor that comes in to play is configuration management. The Operations function needs to have access to detailed accurate and up-to-date documentation that allows the interaction to be assessed between all software and drivers on machines being considered as virtualization candidates. Our experience has been that fast moving, rapidly growing organizations - ones that can benefit from server virtualization technologies - face big challenges in maintaining accurate configuration information. Configuratio, Release and Change management become critical capabilities for the operations function. But this is nothing new. These are competencies that take on a greatly ehanced importance in a transition to virtualization technologies. So the attentiion to detail and consistent adherence to established processes that are the hallmarks of a well managed data center become more important than ever. When considered from this perspective experience in server virtualization technology is not a major factor in adoption. Program management and operations skills are the vital skills required. A successful transition demands expertise in minimizing the impact of change and the identification of software interactions.

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