Capacity planner dearth could stunt virtualisation growth

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Firms thinking about increasing their virtualisation deployments, turning them into business critical production applications could run up against a skill shortage, according to the latest survey from market intelligence group IDC.

The survey, which polled 650 European firms including 141 UK companies, showed a large increase in the number of firms adopting virtualisation technology.

IDC's systems group consulting and research director Chris Ingle said, "The majority of virtualisation is still for research and development purposes and easily virtualised network applications."

However Ingle added that one of the biggest inhibitors to a successful rollout is a lack of expertise and skills.

Jonathan Priestley, global corporate strategist at business service management software firm BMC explained out that one of the major problems firms face is a lack of personnel skilled in the art of capacity planning, a technique universally employed for getting the best from mainframe computers.

"Capacity planning is a dark art, predicting storage, network and processor utilisation for a bunch of applications running on a single piece of hardware is complex," said Priestley, adding, "You could compare resource sharing between virtualised applications to somebody drinking from a glass of water - as soon as you get more than one person wanting to drink from the same glass - things can get difficult."

As for virtualisation technology market share, Ingle said, "VMware is the clear market leader, with 82 per cent of firms polled using its software."

Microsoft will be hoping to increase its own share after its recent launch of Hyper-V, its hypervisor technology, since IDC's figures give Microsoft a 13 per cent share, with the Xen Linux hypervisor having 3 per cent and various Unix systems and mainframes accounting for 14 per cent.
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