System management a barrier to virtualisation

Users will face a challenge managing hypervisors from different software providers, because the technology to manage both physical servers and virtual machines...

Users will face a challenge managing hypervisors from different software providers, because the technology to manage both physical servers and virtual machines (VM) in a datacentre is still evolving.

Neil Macehiter, research director at Macehiter Ward-Dutton, said system management software had not matured enough to enable IT departments to manage virtual machine hypervisors from different suppliers and physical servers from a single user interface. Although users can buy individual products to manage different aspects of their physical and virtual datacentre environment, a single product to manage both is still not available.

The situation will become more complicated with the launch of Microsoft's Hyper-V hypervisor. Businesses that run the VMWare ESX platform may decide to reduce licence costs by offloading some non-critical applications from ESX to the Microsoft virtual machine. Running hypervisors from two suppliers poses additional system management problems.

Tony Lock, programme director at Freeform Dynamics, said major suppliers such as IBM, CA and BMC were working on building management of hypervisors into their products, but very little progress had been made in developing standards to support virtualisation management that would work across different hypervisors.

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