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Are your virtual machines lost in space?

“Whoever comes up with a solid virtual machine documentation process will make a killing this year.”

Those words were spoken — off-the-record — by a senior systems administrator for a major utility company. I ran into him at the Red Hat RHEL5 release party this week. The subject of virtualization was in the air, and — spontaneously in casual conversations and without any prompting from me — four separate sys admins (who asked to remain anonymous) complained about their virtual machine documentation problems.

A seasoned admin — a mainframe expert — with a major financial institution said that many VMs were being deployed in her company’s data centers and departments and no workable tracing mechanisms were in place. A sys admin for a telecommunications company said it took a team of three people doing nothing else two weeks to track down all the VMs.

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