Virtualization Management Brings the Ultimate in Efficiency

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Posted 2011-12-22 Print this article Print

Virtualization technology is delivering on its promise of creating a more energy-efficient and cost-effective data center. However, there's plenty of room to improve the technology, especially as IT enters the cloud computing era.

A funny thing happened on the way to virtualization: Many IT managers discovered that instead of bringing simplicity to their busy data centers, the technology actually made things more complicated. Sure, physical server counts were reduced, energy costs lowered and hardware footprints shrank-all thanks to virtualization.

However, complexity and confusion grew, and managing virtual environments became an almost unbearable challenge. The situation has left many with false assumptions, technology myths and, worst of all, a sense that virtualization can cost more than it's worth.

After all, the goal for most IT shops has been to do more with less, not less with more, and virtualization platforms have come to represent increased management needs, as well as higher operational overhead. Even so, the adoption of virtualization solutions grows, as does the dissatisfaction with how much savings can be delivered.

The truth is that this is not a technological problem, but a management problem. Luckily, that problem can be solved with technology, specifically virtualization management technology. However, before diving into that that aspect of virtual environments, IT professionals need to learn what the facts and myths of virtualization are before taking a deep dive.

One of the first things an IT manager should learn is that deploying a virtualization solution is never a quick fix for other problems. 

Frank Marshall, director of global retail support for The Est??«e Lauder Companies, has seen firsthand that deploying virtualization solutions is not without its challenges.

"Virtualization can present as many challenges as it solves," said Marshall. "Management becomes more complex, thanks to hypervisor issues, platform changes and all of the associated components needed to build a virtualization platform. It takes a holistic approach, where virtual machines are monitored, managed and maintained to truly benefit from everything virtualization has to offer."

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at

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