Server virtualisation "a worry" for IT directors

New survey finds risks involved in virtualisation put IT directors off the technology.

Less than 30 per cent of IT directors said they were using server virtualisation as they were concerned about the risks in using the technology in a live business environment.

The survey of 100 IT directors by research company Vanson Bourne found these figures were even higher within financial services organisations with 81 per cent saying they were not using virtualisation technology throughout the business because of the perceived risks involved.

"It's unfortunate that the very organisations that stand to get the most benefit out of virtualisation have yet to embrace it from a strategic stand point," said Scott Reynolds of Morse, the company that sponsored the study.

"While virtualisation has been a victim of its own hype to some extent, the fact remains that it is a hugely beneficial technology that can help businesses cut their costs in the data centre and make their whole IT environment much simpler and easier to manage."

Many of the IT directors surveyed had specific fears preventing them from investigating virtualisation further for their company. 58 per cent said that the risk of downtime when altering production systems was their biggest fear with server virtualisation.

Others cited concern that virtualisation would cause a degradation in application performance (57 per cent) or that the technology would be too expensive (31 per cent). Almost one third (29 per cent) said they feared that managing a virtualised environment would be too complex. The fear of downtime was the biggest worry for IT directors in the manufacturing (80 per cent) and financial services (71 per cent) sectors.

Reynolds said that most businesses have been put off and their fears must be addressed in order for them to see virtualisation as a viable technology that can be deployed safely throughout the whole organisation.

"In order to realise the benefits of virtualisation, businesses will have to take a strategic approach," said Reynolds. "Rather than crossing their fingers and hoping for the best, they need to plan carefully and identify their pain points and what they want to achieve. This could be lowering complexity and management or increasing flexibility and being able to dynamically allocate resources."

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