If you run a virtualised environment, you are better off using a single vendor's technology, but you probably can't measure your return on investment anyway, according to a recent survey.

Virtual server sprawl, lack of visibility and reporting, and an inability to measure return on investment are hampering users, according to a double-blind survey commissioned by CA and carried out Canadian research company The Strategic Counsel. The survey covered 808 organisations with 500 or more employees in Asia-Pacific, North America and Europe, all of whom are adopting virtualisation.

Respondents could not say whether their deployment were a success, because they could not quantify ROI.
A big majority - 71 per cent - are deploying multiple server virtualisation technologies, including operating system and hardware virtualisation, operating system partitioning, para-virtualisation, and/or clustering.

Findings include:

  • Most organisations have more than one server virtualisation environment.
  • Server sprawl, increased admin, reporting troubles, multiple skill-sets and the lack of a single management view were all hindering users.

  • Companies that carried out an inventory and consolidated their physical servers got more out of virtualisation.

Outfits using multiple technologies to virtualise are suffering, according to report author Warren Shiau. They are 75 per cent more likely to complain about higher admin workloads than those who stuck with one technology, 66 per cent more likely to complain of higher configuration requirements, 50 per cent more likely to suffer server sprawl, and 47 percent more likely to have reporting troubles.

Companies are deploying virtualisation to improve utilisation reliability and uptime, according to the survey, but they have no idea whether it is working because of the difficulty measuring the performance of the virtualised environment.

HSBC, not part of this study, reported recently on a successful virtualisation deployment using a single vendor's technology.

In the study, 30 per cent of respondents were from North America, 37 per cent were from Europe, and 31 per cent from the Asia-Pacific region. Of the organisations surveyed, 67 per cent had between 10 and 99 physical servers, and 22 per cent had more than 200, and over 100 respondents were based in the UK.