Survey finds many disappointed in virtualization, cloud computing

Many expressed disappointment that the expectations of the benefits in operational costs and performance didn't match up to reality

Too often, organizations aren't getting as much out of virtualization and hybrid cloud computing as they first thought they would, according to a Symantec survey of 3,700 information technology managers in 35 countries that was published today.

About a quarter of the survey's respondents said their organizations have already implemented some form of storage virtualization, desktop/endpoint virtualization, server virtualization, private storage as a service, or private/hybrid cloud computing. Another quarter are in the midst of implementing, 20% are in pilot projects, and about 20% are discussing or planning for it. But of the quarter of IT managers who did implement, many expressed disappointment that the expectations of the benefits in operational costs and performance didn't match up to reality.

VIRTUALIZATION: Niche Solution or New Desktop Standard?

While most seemed largely satisfied with server virtualization, 33% were disappointed in storage virtualization, 26% in desktop/endpoint virtualization, 37% in private storage as a service and 32% in private or hybrid cloud computing.

The biggest complaints about hybrid/private cloud computing were in scalability, security and time to provision new resources. In storage virtualization, about a third of IT managers felt they were getting anticipated benefits in operational expense, agility or scalability. And more than a third were disappointed in terms of their expectations about scalability, reduced complexity and efficiency in private storage-as-a-service.

The scalability has to do with managing the virtual environment, said Sean Dennington, director of Symantec's information management group cloud strategy. Overall, many of the survey respondents active in implementing virtualization and cloud computing were finding it "not operating as well as it could be," Dennington said.

Dennington said one reason for the gap between expectations and reality, especially in storage virtualization, is that it changes the dynamic of the data center and impacts storage, server and database administrators. Another finding of the survey is that virtualized environments did raise complaints about performance, with 72% of respondents saying it did impact performance and application availability.

Dennington said few called this a barrier to using virtualization, but there's concern because increasingly mission-critical applications, including enterprise-resource planning and e-commerce, are being deployed in virtualized environments.

The Symantec survey did not ask which specific virtualization platform or services were being used.

Read more about cloud computing in Network World's Cloud Computing section.

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