Best practices save cash, staff time when managing virtual systems

* EMA report shows IT organizations with standard processes reap more benefits from virtualization technology

The benefits of virtualization won't come easy, according to research that shows IT organizations investing time and effort into adopting best practices around managing virtual systems are more likely to lower administration costs, speed problem resolution and improve uptime across the environment.

Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) recently released the results of an extensive study of 153 organizations with active virtualization deployments and the findings show that rolling out a virtual server won't deliver many advantages without solid and standard processes in place. Andi Mann, research director at EMA, headed up the study and says mature organizations investing in best practices will see better results than those looking for a quick fix.

"Mature IT organizations, those with chargeback and capacity planning processes in place, are 20% more likely to be among the best performers in retiring servers, 14% more likely to reduce power consumption and 14% more likely to have a better administrator to virtual machine ratio," Mann says. "Putting best practices in place correlates very strongly with extremely positive results with virtual systems management."

Chargeback processes and other best practices coupled with virtual technologies can even help IT organizations retain staff during the worst economic times by lowering other costs. For instance, according to EMA, best practices around virtual systems management result in much lower administration costs with the best performers in the study saving more than $3,300 per additional virtual machine on staff costs alone. And EMA found that best practices helped IT consolidation efforts in that those surveyed reported being able to reduce the actual number of physical servers in use by 35% or more.

Other areas in which those organizations with best practices in place excelled included availability and problem resolution. More mature IT departments were able to deliver five nines (99.999%), equating to less than one second of downtime per day. And others said they were able to deploy new systems more then 240 times more quickly than without standard processes.

"People are looking to manage their costs in IT a lot better and putting disciplines out there that let them squeeze everything out of the existing assets they have will help. Best practices in virtual systems management help IT get the most out of the capacity they already have," Mann explains.

Do you tweet? If yes, follow me on Twitter here.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Take IDG’s 2020 IT Salary Survey: You’ll provide important data and have a chance to win $500.