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Archive for June, 2010

Everybody talks about virtualization. The technology hypes and the doubters are deliberately ignored. But let us be honest: virtualization necessarily leads to new abstraction levels which in turn results in restraints in terms of handling. That’s why Gartner analyst Thomas Bittman noted some time ago that “virtualization without good management is more dangerous than not using virtualization in the first place.”

This is not about inventing a new discipline, as Forrester Research points out in a brand new report entitled “Managing the Virtual World is an Evolution, not a Revolution”: “Process discipline and streamlined management automation were already operational mandates, but the advent of virtualization on industry-standard servers exacerbates these requirements. Invest wisely in these technologies to avoid getting stranded with limited point solutions that offer little hope of integration into the broader initiatives for operational excellence.”

The doubters might even become more suspicious and ask themselves why this report stresses the common sense that system management cannot succeed with fragmented tools and without a holistic approach at the process level? And what does the distinction between EVOLUTION and REVOLUTION bring to the customer or the CIO dealing with the backlash of virtualization?
Reading the review of the Forrester report by Denise Dubie, former senior editor at Network World, the four listed key product categories for IT managers who want to control a virtual environment seem artificially separated.

Of course, there are 1) the provisioning part, 2) the capacity management part, 3) the performance part, and 4) the automation part, but the fact is that the essential question in virtual environments is not so much a complete list of all the disciplines as how these are interconnected. Because in enterprises reality, the provisioning issue is part of the performance issue, with capacity management as a prerequisite. Considering this, automation is not just another category. It is what glues all these parts together – not just in the virtual environment but across physical and virtual borders.

Between the lines the report proves again that automation is not just the answer to real-time challenges in dynamic markets. It is the only way to deal with complex interdependencies of hybrid and service oriented environments: “Many IT services, like virtualization management, are reaching a level of complexity where sophisticated mathematical algorithms and object models of the servers are more precise and efficient than even your most talented engineers”.

To learn more about Virtualization Automation view the UC4 Tour on this topic.

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