Ah, surveys. Vendor-sponsored surveys, in particular, are often clouded by an agenda that waves a virtual “Caution Flag” over the results. But it’s summer and everyone seems to be on vacation or gearing up for next month’s VMworld, and there’s something satisfying about crunching through a survey. It quantifies the fuzzy in the best of circumstances. In the case of virtualization, where the hard numbers are buried under the hype it’s positively refreshing.
OK, that might be a bit of an exaggeration.
Still, it’s interesting to see what the vendors have to say. This week’s survey comes courtesy of NetIQ, a software vendor that delivers network automation and management solutions.
In other words, while its products go into virtual environments, it is not a virtual player. It does, however, have an obvious vested interest in the virtual by virtue of its management products.
The survey aimed to determine which hypervisors are dominating the market, as well as how most organizations are using traditional systems and security management tools across the enterprise. It also looked at the impact of security on the virtual infrastructure.
Lies, damn lies and statistics aside (and let’s face it, unless you’re incredibly naive, it would be hard to sell the idea that NetIQ wouldn’t try to spin the results to some degree), the data is interesting.
Of the 1,053 geographically dispersed respondents from more than 883 government, enterprise and SMBs respondents, the vast majority — 759 — have virtualized some part of their infrastructures. Of those, however, only 21 percent have employed any kind of systems management solution for their virtual infrastructure.
If you assume that number is what it is because the majority of deployments are in test and dev, you’d be wrong: More than 55 percent of respondents have the virtualization deployments in production production environment; a mere 13 percent are in test and development.
However, around 58 percent of those with virtual deployments in production have virtualized less than 10 percent of their infrastructure on ESX (with 56 percent of virtual infrastructure of those surveyed running on VMware, a margin of error is certainly there — feel the motion, anyone).
Given Hyper-V’s continually increasing 13-percent share (which may seem small, but consider that the survey was conducted from mid-May through the end of June. In other words, before Microsoft stamped it gold), this is likely to change dramatically in the short and long term.
Put another way: Enterprises may have dipped their toe into virtual pool with VMware, but many with swim with Hyper-V.
That and the fact that deployments are wide but not yet deep no doubt explains the reason management tools for the virtual infrastructure are not yet pervasive.
That’s not to say organizations are not keeping an eye on things. The survey found approximately 27 percent of respondents managing the performance and availability of virtual systems with the same tools they use for their physical servers. In addition, it found 17 percent performing basic monitoring on their hardware and operating systems.
These numbers, while not great, are hopefully indicative of the fact that the virtual infrastructure simply does not dominate at this time rather than sloppy planning and haphazard deployments. With Hyper-V now coming on the scene full-bore, virtual infrastructure management is becoming more than academic, and enterprises that do not address it will find the virtual infrastructure to be a bigger and more costly headache than the scale-out model that grew like kudzu less than a decade ago.
Results of the survey can be found on NetIQ’s site.
Amy Newman is the managing editor of ServerWatch. She has been covering virtualization since 2001.
This article was first published on ServerWatch.com.