by Laurianne McLaughlin

Benchmarking How Well You Manage Virtualization

Nov 20, 20072 mins

Are you running a superior virtualization effort? You're ngoing to need the measurements to prove it. A recent study by IDC examines metrics that IT leaders can use to nbenchmark how well they're managing virtualization.

You may be running a superior effort with regards to your virtualized data center, but as with every other IT project, you’re going to need the measurements to prove success. A recent study by IDC examines some metrics that IT leaders can use to benchmark 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.)


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Make no mistake: Now’s the time to make managing your virtual infrastructure a priority, as you allocate budget and staff, IDC’s Elliott says. Otherwise, you won’t be able to optimize virtualization results or savings, or plan strategically for the future.

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 brings together experts from various IT disciplines to manage the overall virtualization effort, IDC finds. 85 percent of enterprises are creating a virtualization management group inside of server and/or storage teams. (This second statistic should serve as a warning bell: Security experts say you need an integrated IT team that includes network, 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 ratio, or average number of virtual images per administrator, is 200.

Process-related cost savings: IDC finds that the average cost-savings for IT groups deploying formal management processes and solutions for their virtual infrastructure is $100,000 to $200,000. The savings result from choices such as applying ITIL-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 infrastructure part of the workflow.

Getting Strategic: While many enterprises are still grappling with the tactical side of virtualization, business demands for use of virtualization for business continuity and for new applications will mean virtualization management becomes a strategic project within two years of initial deployment.