IIIS: Enterprise still reluctant to virtualize mission-critical apps

Reluctance comes down to SLAs and a change in systems management

Dell director of enterprise storage Praveen Asthana

Dell director of enterprise storage Praveen Asthana

Despite the hype around virtualization, there is still a reluctance to virtualize mission-critical applications in the enterprise, according to IBRS analyst, Kevin McIsaac.

Speaking at the Implementing Information Infrastructure Symposium (IIIS), co-hosted by Storage Networking Industry Association A/NZ and Computerworld Australia, Dell vice-president of enterprise solutions, strategy and technology, Praveen Asthana, said this reluctance comes down to the service level agreements (SLA) provided by vendors.

According to Asthana, the majority of companies are only 10-25 per cent virtual, with most liking the promise of virtualization but not following through with a full transition.

Hitachi Data Systems’ chief technology officer, Adrian De Luca, said the issue is the transition from a client-server world where the philosophy around building architectures is much different.

“We didn’t think about things like mobility or virtualization when building the previous generation of management tools so certainly there is a reluctance to move the infrastructure and then how do I manage it if it’s no longer there?” he said.

One of the biggest struggles for enterprises looking to virtualize their storage and server environment is management, Asthana said.

“A lot of the systems management we see today was born in the client-server era, which followed the expensive but easy to manage mainframes; servers were breeding like rabbits all over the place so the systems management tools were created in the client-server time,” he said.

“Now we’re in the virtual era and things are changing again as client-server tools no longer work as they were optimised for configuration management or tightly bound workloads,” Asthana said. “Systems management was designed on physical servers but virtual machines have increased exponentially and it’s become much harder to manage.

“IT managers need to find a new way of managing their virtual machines, a way that actually allows for configuration of logical constructs instead of physical constructs, allows for dynamic and portable workloads so you can move your workload around. How do you manage that, this is probably the biggest stumbling block to virtualization and realising all the benefits to virtualization.”

Follow Chloe Herrick on Twitter: @chloe_CW

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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Tags virtualisationstoragevirtualizationImplementing Information Infrastructure Symposium (IIIS)IIIS 2011

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