Saturday, August 6, 2011

2011 State of Virtualization and Cloud Computing

The SearchDataCenter.com has just released survey results about the status of virtualization (http://searchdatacenter.techtarget.com/feature/State-of-virtualization-and-cloud-computing-2011) from 1,000 typical organizations.

The primary use of virtualization is to consolidate servers (59%). Only 15% of firms are using virtualization for cloud computing, which suggests that endpoint of virtualization is approached only slowly. Only 6% have no plans for virtualization. Some of the most popular uses for server virtualization are to improve disaster recovery (DR) and workload availability, dynamically allocate computing resources and maintain a standardized set of “golden images” that can be used to quickly deploy new virtual machines.

Top virtualization product deployments:
VMware 69%
Microsoft  12%
Citrix  4%
While Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer remain relevant products, they trail vSphere by a considerable margin.

In 2011, 50% of respondents reported running fewer than 10 workloads per physical server, 35% run 10 to 20 workloads per server, 10% run 21 to 30 workloads per server, and 5% run more than 30 workloads per server.

Organizations can successfully deploy virtualization on almost any modern server, though the composition of “standard” hardware platforms has shifted in recent years to blades and large rack units. In 2011, 30% of respondents deploy virtualization on blade servers, 29% use large rack servers (2U and larger), 15% use 1U servers and 3% use other large SMP machines.

Hardware vendors for virtualization are Dell (43%), HP (35%) and IBM (13%). Oracle and CISCO account for only 5%. The dominance applications running on virtual servers are Web Servers (71%) and Data Bases (58%).

According to DCD: 2011 findings, cloud adoption is growing slowly, with 64% of firms not as yet deploying cloud computing. Only 36% of firms have so far deployed cloud computing or are in the process of such deployment.

The ability to retain that initial investment in IT within a firm has been the single most compelling reason for private cloud adoption in 2011. Many businesses also leverage a private cloud for DR and business continuance. Beyond that, self-service and automation make a private cloud an attractive venture.

SUMMARY

New VMs are fast, easy to create, and the hardware is essentially free. If you need to duplicate your production environment to test a new application deployment, just use a VM tool to create and run a new VM in seconds. But once the job is done, what happens to the VM? After sitting on a disk somewhere in your physical infrastructure, it’s easy to forget, and will continue to consume valuable storage and processing resources without providing meaningful return, leading to virtual machine sprawl. For this reason the current DoD focus exclusively on virtualization is likely to fall short of what can be achieved.

There are, however, some common themes worth noting, for avoiding virtualization in DoD. When DoD manages a proliferation of small environments with only a few servers or business applications, there is no justification or skill to add the technology. Any operation outfitted with older or proprietary (or internally developed applications) would not be suitable for virtualization. DoD efforts to consolidate data centers (and marginally small servers) will find it difficult to realize major cost reductions without migrating legacy servers into cloud operations.

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