At its annual user conference, Opsware has revealed a strategy for managing complex virtual server environments.
During an opening keynote, Opsware chief executive officer Ben Horowitz discussed what the company believes is the little understood challenges of managing virtual servers. This complexity, states the company, has arisen because of the rapid adoption of server virtualisation and the accompanying rise in server ‘images’ to be managed. Opsware believes this has reached crisis proportions as IT departments struggle to keep up with the dramatically increased workload.
In his keynote, Horowitz stressed the value that automation can deliver for environments virtualised with technologies such as VMware, Microsoft Virtual Server, Sun Solaris 10, XenSource and others, both in terms of setting up these environments as well as their ongoing management.
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He accepted that virtualisation promises tremendous benefits to IT, including the ability to consolidate server hardware, provide business continuity, lower capital costs and increase significantly the flexibility of the IT infrastructure.
Comparing virtualisation with other hot IT trends that catch fire with great anticipation and promise, he warned that virtualisation risks replacing one set of elegantly solved problems with other issues of equal or greater impact.
Horowitz added that if these issues were not fully anticipated and dealt with, they can lead to unwieldy complexity, add to IT labour shortages and have the potential to rapidly spread security and service delivery problems across a global enterprise.