You may be running a superior effort with regards to your virtualized data center, but as with every other IT project, you're \n\ngoing to need the measurements to prove success. A recent study by IDC examines some metrics that IT leaders can use to \n\nbenchmark how well they're managing virtualization. (Source: "Key IT and Business Benchmarks for Managing Virtual Infrastructure;" IDC report by Stephen Elliot and Richard L. Villars.)RELATED LINKS\nFuture Threats to VM Security: Fact vs. Fiction\n\nCitrix Seals XenSource Deal, Pressures VMWare\n\nTaking Virtual Servers Beyond Data Center Consolidation\n\nHow Server Virtualization Tools Can Balance Data Center Loads\n\nHow To Do Virtualization Right\n\nHypervisor for Laptops Could Rock Your Mobile World\nMake no mistake: Now's the time to make managing your virtual infrastructure a priority, as you allocate budget and staff, \n\nIDC's Elliott says. Otherwise, you won't be able to optimize virtualization results or savings, or plan strategically for the \n\nfuture.The study also gives a quick look at where your peers stand with managing virtualization:Management team: 15 percent of IT groups are creating a dedicated team, often called the virtual computing team, that \n\nbrings together experts from various IT disciplines to manage the overall virtualization effort, IDC finds. 85 percent \n\nof enterprises are creating a virtualization management group inside of server and\/or storage teams. (This second statistic \n\nshould serve as a warning bell: \nSecurity experts say you need an integrated IT team that includes \n\nnetwork, storage and security expertise, as you manage virtualization.)Staffing: How lean is your staff running the virtualized data center? According to IDC, the average VM-to-administrator \n\nratio, or average number of virtual images per\nadministrator, is 200.Process-related cost savings: IDC finds that the average cost-savings for IT groups deploying formal management processes \n\nand solutions for their virtual infrastructure is $100,000 to $200,000. The savings result from choices such as applying \n\nITIL-based processes to the virtualization effort.Making use of ITIL: Some 30 percent of IT groups who are implementing ITIL-based processes are making their virtual \n\ninfrastructure part of the workflow.Getting Strategic: While many enterprises are still grappling with the tactical side of virtualization, business demands \n\nfor use of virtualization for business continuity and for new applications will mean virtualization management becomes a \n\nstrategic project within two years of initial deployment.