Study: Data Center Management Inefficiency Still Exists

<p><strong>Waltham, Mass. &mdash; Sept. 19</strong><br />Although virtualization usage is increasing in the enterprise, inefficient management of data centers and virtual environments continues to be a burden, according to a recently published study by Lighthouse Research.  </p><p>The study, for which 411 enterprise data center decision makers were surveyed, found that although 45 percent of respondents have implemented virtualization technology, few are using automated management tools to improve efficiency and resource utilization in the data center.  <br /><br />"Effectively managing a data center has been a challenge for some time, however, the challenge increases with the use of physical and virtual machines in heterogeneous environments," said Drue Reeves, Burton Group vice president and research director. "Server virtualization introduces a whole new world of resource mobility and growth. Data center management software must scale to reduce the complexity associated with virtualization-induced server sprawl and enable the automated, dynamic data center."</p><p>The study, sponsored by Novell, shows that as organizations move to adopt server virtualization, the main challenges they face include lack of expertise, difficulty managing virtual servers and having a single point of failure.  </p><p>This is compounded by the fact that 61 percent of participants reported they either manually track or do not track server resource consumption, and 79 percent of respondents report they either manually manage or do not manage the reallocation of server workloads based on available resources.  <br /><br />Possibly as a reaction to manual management challenges, the study indicates a move toward more automated management is taking hold.  </p><p>In fact, survey results show 72 percent of respondents will implement automated software patching and updates in the next two years.  </p><p>In addition, 75 percent also intend to increase the efficiency of their data center by using automated server monitoring, which is essential to combat the management complications exacerbated by virtualization technology.<br /><br />"Virtualization brings opportunities to data center managers that other technologies have yet to deliver,"  said Richard Whitehead, Novell director of product marketing. "However, as shown by survey respondents, virtualization also brings a host of management challenges. To fully reap the benefits of virtualization, data center managers need a comprehensive strategy, from virtualization straight through to automated management tools."<br /><br />Other data center management highlights of the study:<br /></p><ul><li>Environmental concerns are a high priority, with enterprises evaluating data center management solutions on the ability to save space (67 percent) and power (65 percent).  </li><li>Data center managers are also looking for solutions that help them address business/IT concerns by allowing them to save time and manpower (87 percent) and money (82 percent).</li><li>Enterprise companies are looking for key features in a data center management tool, including  secured management capabilities (89 percent), remote access and management (86 percent), compatibility with multiple operating systems and platforms (85 percent), automated monitoring and reporting (81 percent) and policy-based automated software using preset thresholds (72 percent).</li><li>More than one half of companies not using virtualization report they are considering the use of server virtualization in the future.</li></ul>

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