Agencies ready to virtualize but storage barriers remain

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A recent study suggests while federal agencies may be more eager than ever to virtualize mission critical applications, challenges such as storage-related costs and performance issues are hindering progress toward this goal.

The Third Annual State of Virtualization Survey, derived from the responses of 477 IT professionals, demonstrated a broad-based desire for virtualization in a variety of industries including government, healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, education and IT services.

Storage remained the largest source of investment in virtualization projects. Organizations deploy storage virtualization software primarily to automatically select the best storage device for each workload, facilitate provisioning for new users and applications and increase use of existing storage hardware, the survey said.

More than half of respondents, 65 percent to be exact, said 50 percent or more of their servers are already running virtualized mission-critical applications. By the end of 2013, 58 percent said they will virtualize 80 percent or more of their mission-critical applications, according to the survey. Even more impressive, almost one in five respondents said 100 percent of their organization’s mission-critical apps will be virtualized this year.

So what is impeding the move to virtualization? Twenty percent of the surveyed IT professionals said their storage budget decreased in 2013 and only 30 percent reported an increase in their organization’s storage budget, an 8 percent drop from 2012.

Almost half of respondents, 44 percent, said the disproportionate storage-related cost of virtualization is a serious obstacle. Forty-two percent said performance degradation and an inability to meet performance expectations affected their organization’s move to virtualization similarly.

In addition, the survey reported integration difficulties related to flash memory and solid state disks are other critical factors discouraging organizations from applying virtualization software.

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Cloud, Tech, Virtualization
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