A lack of expertise in working with today’s relatively immature virtualised environments is holding back wider adoption of the technology, yet there is a growing confidence in virtualisation’s role as a platform for mission-critical applications.
Questioning 360 of its customers in a recent online survey, managed hosting provider Rackspace found that 57% were using virtualisation in some form within their organisation, with VMware the product of choice for almost two thirds.
The chief benefits they reported were increased flexibility (35%) and lower costs (31%). But the list of respondents’ obstacles to wider adoption was long and varied: a lack of expertise (26%), the immaturity of virtualisation technology (21%), difficulties in managing and administrating virtualised environments (19%), security concerns (13%) and anxieties around scalability (13%).
Perceptions seem to be based on the degree of user exposure to virtualisation technologies: 40% of respondents claimed to have gained a deep understanding of virtualisation in-house; but among organisations with less experience, two thirds said they would feel more comfortable deploying through a third-party hosting service.
Meanwhile, confidence in virtualisation technologies themselves is rising: 72% of respondents said they would be happy to run their mission-critical, production applications on a virtualisation platform.
Some workloads are regarded as particularly apt for virtualisation. Asked what applications are best-suited when applying virtualisation in-house, the top two environments were identified as testing/development (27%) and web applications (22%). Others mentioned included application serving (12%), file/print serving (11%), ‘traditional IT’ (8%) and databases (6%). When the same question was asked about hosted virtual environments, the responses varied markedly. Web applications took the top spot with a massive 40% of the vote, followed by application server (19%) and testing/development (17%).