Deploying a Virtualization Solution Is Never a Quick Fix for Other Problems

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


During a recent presentation, Gartner analyst Thomas Bittman stated, "There will be more VMs [virtual machines] deployed during 2011 than in 2001 to 2009, combined." Bittman warned that when deploying virtualization, an approach that is "too cold" won't achieve potential savings, while an approach that is "too hot" will lead to virtual server sprawl, along with cost overruns and breakdowns.

Simply put, virtual server sprawl will become one of the biggest management issues for modern IT departments. Bittman added that management is the key to maximizing any virtualization deployment within an enterprise data center.

Srinivas Ramanathan, CEO of eG Innovations, which develops virtualization management software, agreed. He said, "You can quickly negate any savings if you don't measure and manage virtual environments properly."

The main point of all this is that IT administrators have to show where the savings are. The department must be able to measure those savings, and that requires a management approach that incorporates the ability to monitor and effect change at every level of a virtualization deployment.

That means IT departments must be able to quantify loads, capacities, demands and usage, as well as track trends for those elements. The problem, according to Ramanathan, is that most of the management tools included with virtualization products lack critical capabilities, meaning that those seeking holistic management must turn to third-party solutions.

"Management is even trickier in some cases," said Ed Laczynski, vice president of cloud strategy and architecture at managed services provider Datapipe. "You are introducing a completely new layer. This is where we think virtualization as a service and infrastructure as a service works for enterprises that don't want to focus on undifferentiated technical chores."

Effective management is critical for IT departments that have to show a decent return on the company's investment in the technology.

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). FrankÔÇÖs 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 TechnologyÔÇÖs 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 CenterÔÇÖs review content into both CRNÔÇÖs print and web properties. He also contributed to NetseminarÔÇÖs, hosted sessions at CMPÔÇÖs 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 CenterÔÇÖs contributions to CMPÔÇÖs Channel Web online presence and CMPÔÇÖs latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMPÔÇÖs 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 GroupÔÇÖs publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel GroupÔÇÖs 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 EnterpriseÔÇÖs 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 presidentÔÇÖs 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 NovellÔÇÖs CNE, MicrosoftÔÇÖs MCP.Frank can be reached at

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