Virtualization cost savings hard to come by, Interop survey finds

More than half of those polled report more problems than benefits with virtualization.

Network Instruments polls Interop Las Vegas 2009 attendees to learn more about how server virtualization impacts their environment.

LAS VEGAS -- Despite the reported benefits of virtualization, a majority of IT managers polled at Interop this week say they experience problems with the technology and don't always realize the cost benefit.

Slideshow: Products at Interop

Network Instruments polled 120 network managers, engineers and IT executives at Interop to learn how IT organizations are putting server and desktop virtualization technology to use. Fifty-five percent reported they virtualized mission-critical servers, including e-mail and Web servers, and another 50% said they run DNS and DHCP servers on virtual machines. And nearly 40% have already extended virtualization to their desktop environments.

Yet 55% told the network analysis vendor they experience more problems than benefits with the technology, while the remaining 45% said they had realized the benefits of virtualization. Among the problems were a lack of visibility and tools to troubleshoot performance problems in virtual environments for 27% of respondents. More than one-fourth of those polled at Interop cited a lack of training on virtual infrastructure and 21% expressed concern over an inability to secure the infrastructure.

For nearly 60%, the primary problem with virtualization was a lack of experience to appropriately manage the technology and nearly 50% said that technology implementation costs were too high, according to Network Instruments.

Managing the technology doesn't seem to have become less challenging for network managers. Last year, nearly 40% of 117 network managers polled at Interop also listed virtualization as the emerging technology that represents the "greatest monitoring challenges," according to a joint survey conducted by Network Instruments and NetQoS.

"Not surprisingly, a high number of companies have deployed critical network services on virtual machines," said Charles Thompson, product manager at Network Instruments. "The number of organizations without appropriate monitoring tools, however, definitely caught my attention. Without proper tools, application performance can unnecessarily degrade and network teams waste hours troubleshooting."

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