Management issues kick in when 30% of servers are virtualised, says VMware

The much-discussed management issues associated with virtualisation arise once an organisation has virtualised around 30% of its servers, according to VMware.

“Right about the 30% virtualised point, customers realise that they are doing much more than just installing software,” the virtualisation software vendor’s COO Tod Nielsen said in a conference call with investment analysts yesterday. “They’re actually transforming the way they run their business and approach IT.”

This, Nielsen claimed, is when organisations “need to make sure they’ve got the right processes in place and change management and people”.

One of most frequently reported systems management issues associated with virtualisation is ‘virtual sprawl’, wherein the ease with which virtual servers can be provisioned leads to a proliferation of undocumented and unmanaged virtual machines.

Vendors including VMware see these issues as an opportunity to sell systems management software designed for virtual environments. Last month hardware manufacturer Dell unveiled its bid to diversify into enterprise systems management software, which is focussed on virtualised infrastructure.

There is a chance, however, that the cost savings associated with virtualisation might be undermined by the expense of the systems management infrastructure required to keep it under control.

VMware made the remarks as it announced its most recent financial report. In the three months ending September 30 2010, the company’s revenues were $714 million, up 46% from the same period of last year. Net income for the quarter more than doubled year-on-year to $85 million.

However, VMware’s share price fell following the announcement because its cash flow was significantly lower than expected.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media (now Bonhill Group plc) from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The...

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