2 virtualization worries that keep admins up at night

System downtime and slow application performance related to storage in virtualized environments are the primary concerns of IT administrators surveyed in a new report on the state of private clouds.

IT administrators are more concerned about performance issues and less about the cost of storage than they were a year ago, according to the report, “2012 State of the Private Cloud Survey” by DataCore Software, a provider of storage virtualization software.

DataCore’s survey, which polled 289 IT administrators in the private and public sectors worldwide, revealed that 63 percent of respondents consider system downtime and slow application performance to be their primary storage-related virtualization concerns, up from 36 percent in 2011. About 10.8 percent of the respondents state they work with government. 


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IT administrators still consider the rising cost of storage to be a problem with virtualization initiatives, but overall it is declining as a major concern, with just over half (51 percent) describing increasing storage costs as one of their biggest problems (down from 66 percent in 2011), the report states.

While increasing storage costs may be less of an issue than last year, storage-related costs continue to comprise a significant portion of virtualization budgets, with 44 percent of respondents saying that storage costs represent more than a quarter of their total budget for virtualization, the report states

Many companies are allocating more money for storage, with 37 percent saying their storage budgets have increased this year, while just 13 percent say they have been cut.

Despite this, more than one in three respondents (34 percent) admit they underestimated the impact server/desktop virtualization would have on their storage costs. For those deploying a private cloud, more than one in four (28 percent) underestimated how storage costs would be affected.

“More companies are virtualizing more servers than ever before, but a notable faction of users – about a third – are underestimating the storage costs associated with server and desktop virtualization projects as well as the storage costs associated with private clouds,” said to Mark Peters, senior analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group.

Throwing more money at storage has not reduced performance concerns for companies that have embraced server and desktop virtualization. Even with an increase in the average storage budget, more companies reported significant problems with storage-related performance, bottlenecks, downtimes and business continuity in 2012, the report states.

“Rather than simply continuing to expand traditional storage solutions, IT managers would be well advised to consider addressing performance and downtime issues with a storage virtualization solution that enables them to apply a simplified management approach to manage their storage resources in a single, logical storage pool," Peters said.

“As virtualization moves from theory to practice, storage-related performance and availability are becoming of greater concern to businesses, but cost concerns haven’t gone away,” said George Teixeira, president and CEO of DataCore Software, who recommends the use of storage hypervisors.

Storage hypervisors ensure high performance and availability in the storage infrastructure through features such as auto-tiering, device interchangeability, thin provisioning and continuous data protection, Teixeira noted. “A storage hypervisor solves the cost issue by enabling enterprises to make greater use of existing storage infrastructure, while reducing the need for large-scale storage hardware,” he said.

The online survey was conducted in March 2012. The survey asked a series of questions about virtualization and its impact on storage.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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