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Virtualization Not as Easy as 1-2-3

Technology executives are turning to virtual systems to lower costs and reduce energy costs, but issues with the technology remain, according to a survey which also found companies struggling with service and power consumption issues.

Technology operations management provider Avocent's survey, conducted by Actionable Research, polled 299 executives and technology managers in the United States in the government, manufacturing, high-technology, retail, banking, health care and education sectors.

Respondents saw virtualization technology as a solution to reducing costs, particularly hardware costs, and saving energy. A majority of respondents have rolled out some level of server virtualization; 33 percent of companies implemented the technology to save energy.

However, respondents found the new technology was not perfect. Of those using virtualization technology, 24 percent have experienced a disappearance of a virtual server from their system, and 18 percent reported having permanently lost a virtual server. Additionally, 45 percent of respondents said they had concerns about the lack of expertise that IT personnel had with virtualization; 44 percent said they were concerned that virtual servers could fail from a component failure in a single physical server.

Monitoring power usage and keeping networks up and running were other challenges for those polled. The survey found that many administrators lack the tools they need to properly manage power usage in data centers, with only 55 percent of respondents saying they are able monitor power usage today, and then mostly at the universal power supply level

Survey respondents said that energy conservation was the most difficult issue to resolve with their current tools, with managing the total cost of power the second most difficult task. Eighty-three percent consider the ability to measure power consumption at the entire data center level as "valuable" or "extremely valuable."

Keeping networks connected is another constant challenge for government technology executives. Thirty-five percent of organizations polled lost mission-critical data due to unplanned downtime.

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