About half of UK businesses have shot their bolt on virtualisation without setting up a meaningful complementary datacentre strategy, according to a new survey.

Enterprise system integrator Morse found that 51 per cent of firms surveyed have cashed in on the opportunity to set up virtualised environments without setting up the tools or procedures to optimise that opportunity. That in turn has led to a situation where 67 per cent of IT directors at large companies say they don't know exactly how many virtual machines their organisation possesses. This is despite the fact that 56 per cent said they have a system to track VMs. The reason for this seeming conundrum might lie in another Morse finding: 38 per cent of UK businesses have decentralised VM management with departments able to fire up and tear own their own VMs.

Morse argued that backup, security and admin could all become more problematic thanks to this seeming free-for-all.

"This confirms our theory that organisations have in the past gone about deploying virtual infrastructure in the wrong way and are trying to shoehorn virtualisation in, thinking that because it's running on Linux or Windows existing management tools will be OK," said Tom Brand, Morse senior consultant.

As Brand also noted, those deploying virtualisation for the first time this year will gain the benefits of more integrated tools for managing virtualised environments and a burgeoning market for virtualisation skills. So far though, as many early adopters privately admit, there has been a an element of Wild West about virtualisation deployments. As the tasks get bigger for virtualised datacentres, that can't continue for long.