Server virtualization may have massive benefits, but it adds a layer of complexity that not all can handle. That means that not all shops treat virtualization equally, or so finds new research from QuinStreet Enterprise in its 2014 Data Center Outlook: Data Center Transformation - Where is Your Enterprise? report.
QuinStreet queried 321 IT pros, and surprisingly less than half, some 43 percent, already have server virtualization in place. Another 15 percent plan to make the move in the next year.
While this seems low, only 17 percent have no plans to virtualize servers.
As one might expect, larger shops are more entrenched in this complicated technology. “Larger enterprises with over 1,000 employees had higher levels of server virtualization, with 53 percent currently deploying the technology in their data centers. Mid-sized companies with 100 to 999 employees reported that 47 percent of their data center servers were virtualized,” the research found. “When it comes to small businesses of less than one hundred employees, server virtualization deployment is somewhat lower. Only 38 percent of small businesses indicated they currently use server virtualization technologies.”
The company also asked why the shops that are virtualizing are doing so. Surprising to me is the fact that 79 percent said VMs are more secure. It is true that a well done VM can be sandboxed against attacks on other related systems. But as VMs multiply, they can also create more attack surfaces. And with VM sprawl, not all VMs are so well protected, and many exist that IT doesn’t even know about.
Coming in second is what, to my mind, is the biggest driver – better resource utilization, a motive chosen by 73 percent of respondents.
Awesome Cloud Services also has some recent research that speaks to the cloud. It found that by the end of this year, some 60 percent of all server loads will be virtualized. Increasing the penetration of virtualization is the fact that VMs are the essential basis of cloud services.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson