More than half of UK businesses (51%) have not adapted datacentre management strategies to meet the challenges of virtualisation,research has revealed.
The rapid deployment of virtualisation technology has led IT managers to lose track of virtual machines across their organisations, the survey commissioned by IT consultant firm Morse found.
Two-thirds (67%) of 100 IT directors questioned said they do not know how many virtual machines their organisation has, despite 56% claiming they had the necessary management systems in place.
The survey, by Vanson Bourne, revealed that the problem is compounded by the fact that 38% of UK businesses have decentralised virtual machine management.
More than half (55%) of financial companies surveyed said they had adopted this approach, which allows various parts of the business to introduce and withdraw virtual machines independently.
Virtualisation reduces the need for physical servers and helps companies to use existing servers to full capacity by enabling a single server to run multiple operating systems.
According to the survey, half of UK companies using virtualisation do it because of the cost benefits, 17% to eliminate server sprawl, and 14% to increase utilisation rates.
Tom Brand, senior consultant at Morse, said as more businesses adopt virtualisation, it is essential to take a more strategic and disciplined approach.
Many organisations have been taken by surprise by just how quickly virtual machines have spread and have not ensured that the virtual environment is being managed properly, according to Brand.
"Failure to do so will not only hold the IT department back from using virtualisation to transform the services it provides, but also place the business at risk of data loss," he said.