Virtualisation is mainstream, says Corporate IT Forum

A survey from Corporate IT Forum has found more than 60% of its members are running virtualisation for server consolidation and to reduce IT costs.

A survey from the Corporate IT Forum has found that more than 60% of its members are running virtualisation for server consolidation and to reduce IT costs.

“Virtualisation is established. It is a known thing. People are happy with it. The distinction between private cloud and virtualisation is becoming blurred,” said Dani Briscoe, research services manager at the Corporate IT Forum.

She said virtualisation allows users to streamline efficiencies in their datacentres and potentially prepare business for the cloud. When the Corporate IT Forum conducted a survey on virtualisation 18 months ago, Briscoe said it was not an obvious progression to move from virtualisation to cloud computing.

Given that IT budgets have remained flat, she said IT managers are linking virtualisation to cost saving: “One box can run many servers. People can reduce hardware support costs, but there is added complexity in licensing costs.”

Many are using virtualisation as an opportunity to rationalise the application estate and simplify complex hardware environments. Savings in both hardware and support is the objective of many organisations.

Optimising costs, doing more with less and doing it better is the key aim across the sectors in 2012, and virtualisation has an important part to play in optimising costs, through the continued virtualisation of the IT estate. One respondent said they were planning to “reduce costs by use of extensive virtualisation”.

Virtualisation technology has also improved IT administration, especially in terms of de-skilling server provisioning and allowing fewer staff to administer large virtual server farms. “People no longer need to know how to build a computer from bottom up. There is black box mentality," said Briscoe. Users can simply drag and drop virtual servers to configure them.

The Corporate IT Forum conducted the survey of its members in the fourth quarter of 2011, and the results were analysed in the first quarter of 2012. The survey received 692 responses from 170 organisations.

According to the survey, ongoing virtualisation is highest on the agenda in retail sector IT (65%) and lowest in manufacturing sector IT (48%).

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