Virtualization Management

by mike on July 19, 2008

I’ve been thinking about Virtualization Management for a while so I thought it would be a good time for a blog post, especially since my blogging pace has steadily declined to a crawl.

Virtualization has been all the buzz these days in the enterprise. Gartner expects the number of virtual machines to grow from less than 5 million in 2007 to about 660 million by 2011. What’s the big driver behind this growth? Well, there are a bunch of reasons, but mainly virtualization lets companies stretch their hardware resources and ride the backs of increasing processor power. The days of having one machine running on one piece of hardware are over.

With the proliferation of virtualization comes significant management challenges. Virtual environments increase configuration, monitoring and deployment complexity for administrators. Traditional software for managing standalone machines comes up short in a virtualized environment. Combating “virtual sprawl” has turned into an overhead nightmare. The big platform players, namely Microsoft, VMware and XenSource (acquired by Citrix for $500M in ‘07) offer some built-in management capabilities, but can’t cut it as environment diversity increases. There are functionality gaps across patch, discovery and inventory management. I’ve included a chart from virtualization news site, virtualization.info, to give you an idea of the numerous market segments within virtualization management.

virtualization mkt

Several startups recognize the big opportunity. Companies like LeoStream, VKernel, Embotics, Enomaly , ManageIQ, Ceedo and Vizioncore are a few that come to mind.

As complexity increases, enterprises large and small will need better tools to manage virtual environments across storage, applications and the desktop. The big platform players have taken notice and the race is on.

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