IT professionals are still ignorant about the advantages of virtualization, according to a survey from virtualisation specialist C&C Technology.

Virtualising applications allows a single system to run multiple incompatible operating systems. This reduces the number of servers required, and cuts associated costs such as administration, power and cooling, as well as simplifying the running of legacy systems.

The survey of 50 IT professionals, from IT directors to network managers, found that 38 per cent of companies taking part had only an ‘average’ knowledge of virtualisation, while 48 per cent felt they were using the technology to their advantage. The biggest barrier to take-up, according to the survey, was the perceived complexity and cost of making the change.

Richard Gigg, sales and marketing director of C&C Technology Consulting, said he saw huge potential for virtualisation technology as organisations become more aware of the advantages. Adopting virtualisation, he said, was faster and simpler than most organizations realized, with an average, medium-sized implementation taking about two weeks.

According to Gibbs, survey respondents saw the main advantage of virtualisation as being the reduced cost and complexity of introducing new applications. “The improved business flexibility they gain was key,” he said. “You can test and deploy new applications much more efficiently without affecting existing applications.”

Gibb added that moves from other firms to promote virtualisation technology could only increase awareness of the benefits. Of VMware’s decision to make its GSX Server software free, he commented: “They had to do it because of what the competition are doing, but it will help increase the take-up. I can see the day when virtualisation will be the norm.”