"Server huggers" slug-it-out in virtual warfare

DBA infinitely more influential than IT managers

The war over who owns the virtualized server is split evenly between three different groups, according to a Computerworld online poll.

The poll which has been running on this site for several weeks, asked respondents if virtualization is creating server ownership wars?

Around 33 percent said server ownership is lost in a virtualized environment, while another 33 percent said control of server resources is not an issue.

The remaining 34 percent were yet to take the virtual plunge.

However, reporting from the battlefront, local analysts claim there are two divided camps: the conflict between entrenched server and storage despots, and the tiring war between IT and the business.

Hydrasight analyst, Michael Warrillow, said the virtual fight arises in the corporate office between hardened storage and server veterans when they are forced to co-operate on issues such as maintenance, installation, and disaster recovery.

"Most [server and storage] administrators own their own box, so conflict arises when they have to agree over patching, deploying more boxes, or when and how to update," Warrilow said.

However, he said it is a necessary evil which needs to be resolved if business wishes to realize the benefits of virtualization and avoid common pitfalls like server sprawl.

He said even the 34 percent yet to undertake virtualization will eventually be affected because 100 percent adoption of virtualization is inevitable.

"Server virtualization will absolutely affect everyone because you need to pull hardware together to get the best value," Warrilow said.

"It's simply not acceptable for one person to own a box; people need to work together consistently and constructively."

For those prepared to dig-in and settle in the trenches for arduous fighting, Warrilow warned everyone could lose-out to the outsourcing A-bomb.

IBRS analyst, Kevin McIsaac, compared the war to Holden versus Ford, and said the battle is typically between emotionally attached server-huggers and those in IT and business wanting infrastructure control.

"You usually find the business units that don't want to let go of server control in large $100 million-plus corporate enterprises, while smaller companies have debates over infrastructure ownership between IT and the business," McIsaac said.

According to McIsaac, HR is usually responsible for peacekeeping, especially in SMBs where IT workers have adopted to doing multiple jobs.

He said more mature businesses place IT in control of server infrastructure.

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Darren Pauli

Computerworld

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