Performance issues are a factor for the majority of organizations, as well. Seventy-six percent of those who have implemented server virtualization stated that performance was a somewhat/extremely large factor in keeping various constituents from being more confident about placing business-critical applications on virtualized servers. Seventy-two percent of organizations that have implemented hybrid/private clouds cited performance as a significant/extreme challenge.
Among enterprises that have implemented server virtualizations, reliability was the No. 1 concern: 78 percent said it was a somewhat/extremely large factor in keeping various constituents from being more confident about placing mission-critical applications on virtualized servers. Of those who have implemented storage virtualization, 83 percent stated uptime and availability as an important goal.
IT and business out of synch
According to the survey findings, 46 percent of CFOs who are implementing hybrid/private clouds are less than “somewhat open” to moving business-critical applications into those environments. Forty-four percent of CEOs are cautious about moving these applications.
Main concerns cited about virtualization and hybrid cloud deployments are reliability (78 percent), security (76 percent), and performance (76 percent).
In practice, many C-level concerns are unfounded based on responses from IT. For example, concerns about performance are a top reason cited for caution, yet 78 percent to 85 percent of those who deployed server virtualization achieved their goals related to performance.
Enterprise IT’s evolution to the cloud has its fair share of challenges, but also compelling rewards. Despite concerns, most enterprises are implementing virtualization and moving to a cloud computing future. For these enterprises, Symantec offers recommendations to help make the journey as smooth as possible.
- Ensure alignment between IT and executives in virtualization and cloud initiatives: It is important to show that you can address C-level concerns such as security and availability. Show that their concerns, while important, can be successfully overcome by leveraging existing best practices and robust solutions that ensure valuable information and critical applications are protected and highly available.
- Don’t operate in a silo when it comes to cloud computing: Virtualization and cloud initiatives are most successful when implemented as mainstream, comprehensive IT initiatives. Because they involve all aspects of IT (servers, storage, network, applications, etc.) they can fail when managed as siloed “special projects.” Rather, treat cloud as an IT-wide initiative with all departments included in planning and implementation.
- Leverage and modernize your existing infrastructure: Before you’re ready to implement hybrid/private cloud, make sure you are leveraging the existing infrastructure to achieve the same efficiencies and then modernizing it as needed. Convert static servers, storage and networking into a virtualized pool of resources. Replace static provisioning with self-service provisioning, and make sure to implement monitoring and metering to demonstrate value to the business.
- Set realistic expectations and track your results: Remember that despite the hype, cloud is a new and still maturing market. Do your homework to set expectations that are realistic, then follow up and track results to identify ways to improve project efficiency going forward.
About the survey
Symantec’s 2011Virtualization and Evolution to the Cloud Survey is the result of research conducted in April 2011 by Applied Research, which surveyed IT and C-level professionals responsible for computers, networks and technology resources at small, medium, and large enterprises (defined as 1,000-2,400, 2,500-4,999, and 5,000+ employees). The report was designed to gauge how organizations plan to move mission-critical initiatives to virtual and hybrid cloud computing environments. The survey included more than 3,700 respondents from 35 countries in North America, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), Asia Pacific and Latin America.