It wasn’t really a surprise that one of the big topics at the VMworld virtualization fest in San Francisco early this month was the virtual machine sprawl and the long desiderated management answers by the IT departments.
This is not just the case in VMware environments as Jamie Erbes, Chief Technology Officer for HP, points out in a ZDNet interview: “On the need to manage virtualization efforts, the problem of “virtualization sprawl” is becoming real. Developers have adopted virtualization and IT managers don’t use the rigor needed for its use. For instance, if some department wants a new server a virtual machine can be created in minutes. Multiply those departments in a multinational corporation and you have a lot of virtual machines” – and a big threat to end-to-end management.
In daily IT business the problem is not the quantity of the virtual machines, as the title borrowed from Timothy Pricket Morgan’s blog suggests. The problem is that these VMs are just automated and orchestrated inside the VMware virtual environment and isolated in relation to the IT processes which are still running separately in real and virtual environments. From this process viewpoint, managing the virtual environment is a far cry from managing the entire IT environment – as long as the dependencies between the virtual and the real world are unsolved. That’s the catch. With this in mind, serious virtualization efforts just make sense together with a serious automation strategy. And a serious automation strategy is cross-platform or not – as I stated in this blog months ago.
This is also in tune with Jamie Erbe’s point of view. She emphasizes in the interview mentioned above that “companies need to focus on their policies and how rules for things like storage, applications, cloud computing and storage all work together. If these policies aren’t well thought out the effort to automate infrastructure can be wasted and wind up costing you more.”
Don’t forget. You can do great things with automation. But first you have to make sure that the automation train goes in the right direction. This train is fueled by “integration”. Integration without restraints.
For more information look up the Whitepaper about Intelligent Service Automation for Real and Virtual Environments.