This and other feedback suggests that unlocking the full potential that virtualization clearly offers, even in terms of simple server consolidation, is in many cases going to involve negotiation with business stakeholders and finance guys to work through ownership issues and deal with the budgeting, cost centre accounting and other administrative mechanics that would otherwise stifle progress. Indeed, the ownership issue remains the most commonly cited challenge to consolidation initiatives:
Beyond the politics and financial admin, we can also see some very practical issues highlighted on this chart. About a third of respondents, for example, say that once you have tackled the problem of physical server proliferation, a similar problem might sneak up on you in the form of virtual machine sprawl. The irony is that one of the great benefits of virtualization, i.e. the ability to create a new virtual server quickly on demand, means that the temptation is to just keep creating more servers.
Related to this, but also a potential issue even in a more disciplined environment, is the question of virtual server management. As has been discussed in our workshop [link], while the hypervisor part of the equation can often be acquired for little or no incremental cost, management tools have to be paid for, and this is currently an area that is often considered as an afterthought. Of course in an ideal world, you would want you existing operations tools to help you look after your virtual environment, but not all management suites are up to this, and one vendor at least, is still insistent on virtual server management being something that should be dealt with separately. Whatever your current capability and philosophy, however, the management question is clearly not one to be ignored.
Fewer VMs on UNIX boxes?
"The first cause that springs to mind concerns the traditional dependencies that have existed between applications and the platforms upon which they sit. A familiar challenge is how each application requires the underlying systems stack to be configured in a particular way, which is typically different to other applications."
I think this --^ is also the reason why the x86 use of VMs is higher than the "proprietary UNIX" use -- I'm sure there are exceptions, but in general UNIX apps interact with the underlying OS cleanly, they don't require OS modifications, and have other mechanisms (chroot jails and such) to seperate the per-app environment if needed without resorting to an entire OS for each.
Anyway, I find virtualization to be an interesting topic, keep up the good articles on it!
Good to know that virtualization seems to be delivering on this particular point on the majority. I'm guessing this is because most VMs will still be running Windows Server 2003 or non windows stuff. The required RAM for even a lightly used Server 2008 is a bit high...
What what was so wrong with the Motorola 68nnn processors? They had much more umph than the Intel chip! An ARM is better than an Intel chip!