Virtualization Cost Savings Disappoint Enterprises: Survey

More than 60 percent of survey respondents are disappointed in virtualization's cost savings.

A survey of 460 IT decision-makers from midsize and large enterprises found that more than 60 percent are disappointed in virtualization's cost savings. Moreover, respondents said they believe that automation plays a key role in reaping the financial benefits of virtualization and cloud computing.

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 virtualization in their organization. A large majority cited reducing costs (85 percent) and increasing server utilization (84 percent) as the primary reasons to deploy virtualization. However, 63 percent of respondents stated that they have not experienced as much savings as expected, and 5 percent said the complexities of virtualization had actually introduced new costs.

"Virtualization 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 virtualization kit. While many organizations are seeing benefits from virtualization, such as reduced hardware spending and improved server utilization, these benefits often get overshadowed by the lack of productivity improvements in data center staffing and operations."

The survey indicated that there is a direct correlation between IT service automation in a virtualized 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 virtualization. Conversely, 48 percent of those who said the complexities of virtualization have introduced new costs also said most of their server provisioning processes are manual.

"This survey further demonstrates that the promised benefits of virtualization and cloud computing will be hard to realize without first standardizing and automating routine IT processes," said Roger Pilc, general manager of virtualization 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 organizations hope to realize as this data shows."

Pilc said to become more efficient and to realize the full benefits from virtualization and cloud computing, IT organizations 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."