Virtualization Deployments and the "Trough of Disillusionment"

As the VMware VMworld 2010 San Francisco event winds down, there were a few stand-out themes that bubbled to the top of many customer interactions.  These are:

  • Virtualization management is a key factor for success: customers now realize that the initial capital expense reduction business case for virtualization was successful, but the second phase of the virtualization deployment now requires management to scale out the architecture.

  • Performance, fault, security, capacity planning, change, and configuration management are investment requirements: customers want to scale out their virtual deployments and get more tier one and two applications onto their virtual architectures. Without foundational management requirements, this has become riddled with business and technology risk.

  • Automation is in full bloom: there is a linkage between automating virtual processes, based on ITIL versions 2 and 3, and creating on-going cost containment strategies to scale out virtual architectures.

  • Private clouds are real; virtualization is a starting point: customers are accelerating their private cloud strategies for more efficient and optimized IT services delivery; virtualization must be tied with management capabilities to achieve expected business outcomes.

  • A move from VM discussions to service discussions: VM level discussions remain important, but there is growing awareness on the importantance of managing and analyzing end-to-end IT services that traverse physical and virtual architectures.

  • VM heterogeneity is creeping upwards: More customers are evaluating and deploying hypervisors in addition to the VMware platform.

  • Budgets are open for management: customers are demanding sophisticated capabilities from management solutions; a key decision factor is integration with physical management processes, and solutions.

  • Interest in Cisco UCS is exploding: customers continue to bring this platform up in conversations; they are evaluating its business case and management requirements.

These themes indicate a sense of realism and urgency for virtualization customers. VM stall and management are top concerns as the need for larger scale virtualization deployments take hold in IT organizations.  The maturity in the market has moved from initial consolidation projects to broader deployments across server, storage, application, and network infrastructures that require management capabilities for success. 

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Stephen Elliot

Stephen Elliot is vice president of strategy for CA’s Infrastructure Management and Data Center Automation business unit. In this role, he is focused on key areas such as business unit technology, strategy creation, analyst relations, market positioning, partner development, and customer deals. Prior to CA, Stephen was a noted software industry analyst at IDC, Hurwitz Group, Gartner, Instat, and Forrester. He also served Inteq, a venture-backed start-up, as product marketing manager. Stephen earned a B.A. from the University of Southern California. He also completed graduate work at American University and Harvard Business School's Executive Education course on Strategic Financial Analysis for Business Valuation.

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