Beware the cost of virtualisation lock-in

Repeat something enough times and it becomes accepted as the truth. It's starting to seem this way when it comes to the potential savings that may be realised when moving to virtualisation.

Physical consolidation and better utilisation has got to be a winner all round, right? Or does it?

There is no denying that virtualisation has caught on in most organisations that are mid-sized and above.

Our latest survey shows high adoption rates of virtualisation for consolidation of x86 servers, with the intent in future to further increase its use as well as to look to more advanced solutions such as forming a dynamic private cloud.

Those who have implemented virtualisation have tended to virtualise a wide variety of workloads, be they lightweight departmental applications, critical infrastructure services such as Active Directory or DNS, or demanding applications such as Exchange Server.

One significant exception is the virtualisation of database servers.

This lags due to issues such as performance predictability and database licensing costs for virtual machines, as seen in the chart below.

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However, even here the trend we see is towards increasing virtualisation over time.

All of this points to virtualisation becoming an integral part of the IT infrastructure in the future.

Some organisations are already adopting an approach of virtual-by-default, physical-by-exception for application or service deployments, and from conversation we have this is likely to increase.

In future, the provisioning, deployment, change management and operational control will be geared towards this, making virtualisation a core pillar of IT strategy.

If we look in a bit more depth, however, we can see some worrying trends emerging as more and more experience is gained with implementing virtualisation

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