Rack of server storage

Storage problems are holding back app virtualization, survey finds

The overall cost of storage and performance issues appear to be the two most significant storage-related barriers preventing agencies from virtualizing more of their mission-critical workloads, according to a survey of 477 IT professionals from industry and government conducted by DataCore Software.

Storage vs. virtualization

High storage costs and performance degradation issues are preventing more virtualization of critical apps, according to a DataCore Software survey of 477 IT professionals from industry and government. Among the survey highlights:

44% of respondents said the disproportionate storage-related costs were a “serious obstacle” or “somewhat of an obstacle” preventing them from virtualizing more of their workloads.

42% said the same about performance degradation.

60% aren’t using flash memory or SSD at all.

80% are not using any public cloud storage.

Source: DataCore Software

Storage continues to be the biggest chunk of the investment in server and desktop virtualization projects, respondents said in the Third Annual State of Virtualization Survey released by DataCore, a developer of storage virtualization software. Fifty-two percent of those surveyed said storage accounted for more than 25 percent of their virtualization budget.

Forty-four percent of respondents said disproportionate storage-related costs were an obstacle preventing them from virtualizing more of their workloads. Forty-two percent said the same about performance degradation or the inability to meet performance expectations.

Integration difficulties associated with flash memory and solid state disks (SSDs) also rank high among factors discouraging organizations from applying these fast technologies to virtualization workloads that are latency-sensitive, the survey states.

Despite the incredible attention the industry is placing on solid state technologies, 21 percent of the respondents said they are not planning to use flash/SSD for their virtualization projects. When asked about what classes of storage they are using across their environments, nearly 60 percent of the IT professionals said they aren’t using flash/SSD at all.

“IT is increasingly relying on a mix of purpose-built storage devices to better balance business objectives against budget constraints,” the report states.  “Their storage capacity is distributed across flash memory, SSD, high-end [disk] arrays, midrange arrays and low-end arrays. In order to pool these diverse classes of storage, 34 percent of the respondents have introduced storage virtualization software,” the report states.

The IT professionals do not appear to be flocking to public cloud storage providers in droves for their storage needs. Eighty percent said they are not using any public cloud storage. This is particularly notable given the amount of recent attention devoted to public cloud options, the report states.

When asked how they would characterize their initial estimate of how their private cloud deployment or server/desktop virtualization project would impact storage costs, 29 percent said they are avoiding virtualization projects altogether because the related storage costs seemed too high, and another 23 percent said they underestimated the cost of storage.

Microsoft’s SQL Server, Exchange and SharePoint software as well as Oracle and SAP software are the most prevalent top-tier applications targeted for consolidation, the report reveals.

IT professionals from government and education each made up 13 percent of the survey respondents. Other sectors represented include financial services (11 percent), health care (12 percent), manufacturing (15 percent), and IT services (14 percent). The average storage capacity managed by these organizations is 234 terabytes.

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