Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Users Search for Virtual Reality

BURLINGAME, Calif. -- StoragePlus -- Vendor lock-in, hidden costs, and marketing hype are just a few of virtualization's pitfalls, according to experts at this week's conference.

"Vendor lock-in is really kind of a scary thing and it seems to be one of the hottest topics right now," warned Robert Lerner, senior analyst at Heavy Reading during a panel on virtualization. "It's awfully difficult to avoid, the deeper you get into an implementation," he added.

A number of vendors, headed by VMWare, are touting a slew of virtualization products, in an attempt to solve users' storage dilemmas (See IBM Intros Software, VMware Eyes Enterprise, Microsoft, Xen & the Art of Virtualization, and Virtualization Startups Gain Steam.) Microsoft also has its eye on the market, and is planning to offer a data center virtualization product in late 2007. (See Microsoft Makes Virtualization Play.)

But, even with all this vendor brouhaha, users should beware of the technology's expense, according to Lerner. "The cost could be pretty significant -- you have the upfront costs and the long-term costs," he explained, adding that users should consider, for example, the ongoing costs of data protection and migration.

For these reasons, the analyst believes that users should approach the virtualization market with caution. Lerner also urged IT managers to get a second opinion on vendors' performance claims. "Don't take the vendors' word for anything," he said, adding that benchmarks can be verified with third party sources, such as the The Storage Performance Council.

  • 1