10 questions to test your virtualization readiness

Before diving into server, operating systems, application and desktop virtualization, industry analyst group suggests asking critical questions

By Denise Dubie, Network World, 07/03/07

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“In some cases, the technology is not ready, or the returns will not be sufficient, to embark on such a major change in technology, architecture and process,” Mann writes. “Virtualization should not be rushed. It is a long-term opportunity, and enterprises that approach virtualization carefully as a strategy, not just a project, will be better positioned to benefit in the long run.”Here is a rundown of the key questions to ask before embarking on an enterprisewide virtualization project.

1. Do you have the skills to support virtualization? EMA ranks the lack of “appropriate skills” as potentially the biggest barrier to successful virtualization deployments. The research firm says about three-quarters of enterprise companies that don’t yet have virtualization in place believe they don’t have the skills to support the technology. EMA recommends training staff before the technology is adopted, determining requirements, documenting expected changes and performing pilots of virtualization technology in small sample environments.

2. Are you ready for the politics virtualization could introduce? The second pitfall is also related to the human element. Because IT departments have existed in siloed groups for years, IT executives could face pushback in their efforts to win mainstream acceptance of virtualization technology, EMA says. For instance, some groups may not wish to share server resources, and for that reason, EMA recommends organizations put in reporting tools to show how virtualization is either helping performance or at the least not hurting departments by sharing resources among them.

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