Cloud and virtualization adoption in organizations shows a clear discrepancy between expectations and actual realized benefits that spans anywhere from four to 37 per cent regarding factors such as scalability and reduced capital and operational expenditure, according to a new survey by Symantec Corp.
The principle reason is that, although some forms of virtualization are mature, the technology brings about unexpected operational change that affects admin staff in storage, database, server and backup roles, said Sean Derrington, director with the Mountain View, Calif.-based company's cloud product management and information management group.
“Now, there are four groups that are becoming more and more interdependent,” said Derrington.
Specifically, the study reveals an expected-actual gap in benefits of 37 per cent for private storage-as-a-service, 33 per cent for storage virtualization, 32 per cent for private or hybrid cloud, 26 per cent for desktop and endpoint virtualization, and four per cent for server virtualization.
The study, 2011 Virtualization and Evolution to the Cloud, polled 3,700 respondents from 35 countries, of which 200 are based in Canada.
Derrington said storage and server virtualization, for instance, although mature and reliable technologies that have been around for years, can still significantly impact the operational workflow that IT admins have become accustomed to.
While the study did not delve into how IT departments are managing operational change—for instance, who actually administers server virtualization in the company—respondents identified cutting operational expenditure as a concern.
To better manage operational change in the face of virtualization deployments, Derrington advises IT departments to be more efficient and responsive to the business. This means aligning expectations between IT and business execs.
“So there needs to be some sort of baseline about, ‘This is possible to do, let’s go do it,’” said Derrington.
Also, he added, IT departments must stop taking a siloed approach to supporting the business. Instead, they must adopt the mentality that server, storage and networking resources are “shared” across all applications regardless of department.
Gaps in expectation aside, the study found, in response to which business-critical apps are next in line for virtualization, that 77 per cent of Canadian companies have slated database applications to go virtual within the next 12 months.
Also, globally, among the 76 per cent of enterprises that have virtualized servers, security was an “extremely large” concern when putting business-critical apps on virtualized servers.