Here is a rundown of the key questions to ask before embarking on an enterprisewide virtualization project.
- Do you have the skills to support virtualization? EMA ranks the lack of "appropriate skills" as potentially the biggest barrier to successful virtualization deployments. The research firm says about three-quarters of enterprise companies that don't yet have virtualization in place believe they don't have the skills to support the technology. EMA recommends training staff before the technology is adopted, determining requirements, documenting expected changes and performing pilots of virtualization technology in small sample environments.
- Are you ready for the politics virtualization could introduce? The second pitfall is also related to the human element. Because IT departments have existed in siloed groups for years, IT executives could face pushback in their efforts to win mainstream acceptance of virtualization technology, EMA says. For instance, some groups may not wish to share server resources, and for that reason, EMA recommends organizations put in reporting tools to show how virtualization is either helping performance or at the least not hurting departments by sharing resources among them.
- Have you considered and can you accept the risks? Virtualization technology reduces the amount of physical resources needed to support multiple systems and applications. But at the same time, it "concentrates more users and applications on fewer, more complex, shared virtual environments," the EMA report reads, and because of that, "the impact of hardware failure, human errors, security breaches, planning problems, support issues and more are vastly magnified in a virtual environment." Among its suggestions, the research group recommends enterprise companies develop detailed business continuity and disaster-recovery plans at all stages of the virtualization project.
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CIO India is carrying out some smart tips for CIOs and other IT managers to consider before diving straight into the sea of virtualization.