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Bear/woods alert: Entire world not quite virtualized yet

Savvy readers expectations met: it's no doddle

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We asked, and you told us. Virtualization is making its presence felt, but not in a way that would make an evangelist faint with excitement. Instead, it all looks rather sensible, with just over 60% of the hardy poll-completers telling us they are pretty active across the board when it comes to virtualizing environments which support non-critical workloads. It’s around half that level for critical workloads. Hang on, that’s actually quite a lot isn’t it? Fair enough, we know that the relatively advanced practitioners are more likely to respond to this kind of poll, but even with this bias, we can see that they’re not going mad with it.

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Now, when it came to challenges you expected around virtualization versus the challenges you actually came up against, we admit to wondering if there wasn’t some fiddling going on, given how well some of them tallied. It turns out that actually ‘doing’ virtualization is a bit more involved than pressing a big red button. Dammit. Furthermore, managing virtualized environments isn’t a walk in the park either. But many of you knew this before you started, apparently. The fact that poll responses are likely to come from the more advanced practitioners makes this useful feedback for the rest of us.

Interestingly, the one perceived challenge which didn’t live up to expectations was around choosing technology. 12 months ago, there was a dearth of choice. I wonder if the same issue might not be quite so straight forwards now. Other areas which didn’t cause a ripple on lake virtu included finding the right skills and experience (is that because for those of you that already did some virtualization it felt like very early days and there was no choice than to just get on with it?) and interestingly for a technology play, building the business case. Perhaps the ‘lots of boxes to less boxes’ message got through to the business after all.

So to wrap up: an honest question for the practitioners that have ‘been there, done that’. The bit about expecting management of virtualized environments to be a challenge, and finding it to be true in practice: there’s clearly quite a bit of practical experience out there now, so we’re keen to see what lies beneath this statistic. On the one hand it could be taken for granted (‘well of course it’s all about the management’). On the other hand, it’s perhaps not so obvious to a new convert. After all, it took the vendors a while to cotton on to the management side being such a key factor.

Perhaps it was blindingly obvious to you that your existing systems management capabilities might not be up to managing virtualized environments. Or maybe it cropped up in planning and testing scenarios, when figuring out what you might actually try and do once you had a virtualized environment. What really brought it home to you, and was it only after the fact? I promise to apologise in the comments section if you really do think it’s bleeding obvious, but in our experience, it ain’t necessarily so.

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