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Virtualization: Even Better Days Ahead

A new report from CDW, suggests that the best days of virtualization are still ahead of us. The report found technical concerns are constraining virtualization adoption at many businesses. A whopping 90 percent of organizations implemented server virtualization at some level; more than half (54 percent) said they had completed their deployments. However, even "fully deployed" organizations report that only 37 percent of their infrastructure consists of virtual servers. What's more most organizations believe they have the necessary policies and staff in place for a successful implementation.

One of the interesting findings is that virtualization is moving beyond the biggest enterprises. More than half (59 percent) of enterprise companies report that they began deploying virtualization in or before 2007 vs. 34 percent of large companies and 42 percent of medium organizations, but the gap is closing. This year it's expected that more medium-sized businesses will start virtualizing than large or enterprise companies.

So why haven't businesses virtualized even more? Some respondents are uncertain which applications and servers are suitable candidates. Most plans capture only "low hanging fruit." Other applications may not be supported by their vendors in a virtual state. Finally, virtualization is a long term project, sometimes shelved due to conflicting priorities.

Certainly there are some applications known to have virtual challenges. Those that use excessive I/0, for example, aren't necessarily the best use of  virtualized environments. Security  and lack of virtualization support by the hardware (17 percent each) are major reasons for lack of virtualization support. Yet, those concerns also lessen with experience. Organizations that have only partially deployed server virtualization are twice as likely to consider security a barrier than organizations that have fully deployed the technology.

At the same time, there's no denying virtualization's benefits. Only four percent indicated they were not saving money with virtualization and nearly half (46 percent) were actively tracking savings. Yet, while the costs savings of virtualization were a major issue for some, in large organizations in particular other factors, namely business agility, IT efficiency and energy consumption came into play.

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