Ready and Willing to

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-08-31 Print this article Print

Virtualize"> The report also found that no enterprises believe any major management discipline becomes more difficult with virtualization, with most management disciplines perceived to be easier with virtualization, especially disaster recovery planning, availability management, IT cost management, software provisioning and change management.

"Nevertheless, there are significant challenges to be overcome when deploying and managing virtual environments. Amongst the most significant are training and staff development. Even with virtualization in place, most organizations are finding this to be an issue, so enterprises looking to deploy virtualization must take this into account," Mann says in the report.
Less than half of the enterprises with virtualization already in place, and only a quarter of those planning to adopt it, believe they have sufficient skills to manage the environment, the report found.
Policy-based resource management and capacity planning also bring new challenges in the virtual world, requiring new technologies and processes, Mann said. Better software management is virtualizations next frontier. Click here to read more. "Several vendors are stepping up to this challenge, but there is still plenty of room for this market to develop, and there is especially a need to integrate these capabilities into standard enterprise management solutions," Mann said. The management of virtual environments is, by all accounts, a lot easier than might otherwise be expected, he said in the report, noting that "in ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) disciplines especially, it is marginally surprising to see how most organizations believe it will be easier to manage a virtual environment than a physical one. "This reflects one of the many benefits of virtualization. It may well be, as one respondent put it, the most important development in systems management in the last 20 years," Mann said in the report. Security is an area where virtualization is not all rosy. "Security, while considered a major benefit of virtualization, is also a potentially significant management problem. Attaining the appropriate skills to manage virtualization environments is a particular challenge," Mann said. While some security benefits are apparent, so too are some additional vulnerabilities. "Enterprises must ensure they understand these new exposures, and implement processes and technology to close these gaps. Vendors must provide more complete capabilities to prevent these gaps from exposing their customers to significant risk," Mann said. Enterprises considering virtualization technologies should carefully plan their deployment, taking into account the potential costs, disruptions and skill challenges. But there appears to be no reason to wait. "This is not surprising, because enterprises that have implemented virtualization have clearly achieved significant benefits, and are leading the way in what will turn out to be a virtual revolution," the report concludes. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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