IT managers have a laundry list of things they'd like to see fixed in their virtual environments. But by and large, they have yet to take the next step and invest in third-party virtualization management tools.
According to TechTarget's "Virtualization Decisions: 2009 Purchasing Intentions Survey," 71% of VMware shops do not use third-party performance monitoring and management tools, 79% don't use third-party migration tools, and 56% don't use third-party security tools. Backup tools have better uptake, with only 30% of respondents saying that they don't use them.
Data was collected between June and September 2009 from 666 IT professionals that have deployed or are evaluating virtualization.
The results come as something of a surprise to Rick Scherer, a virtualization solutions architect at San Diego Data Processing Corp., which is among the VMware shops that has invested in third-party performance management tools. "Smaller environments might feel they don't need these tools because things are running fine, but in larger environments, you're not going to get your best ROI unless you tune," he said.Uphill climb for virtualization management tools
The dismal showing of third-party management tools may have more to do with the economy than with their intrinsic worth, Scherer added. "Performance management and monitoring tools are viewed as a nice-to-have, not a need-to-have, and they're always the first to get cut when times are hard."
Among Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer environments, virtualization management tools have even lower adoption rates -- perhaps because there is relatively little to choose from. More than 90% of XenServer users reported not using any third-party migration or performance monitoring tools, compared with 86% and 89% of Hyper-V users.
In terms of adoption, management software native to virtualization providers' offerings fared somewhat better. Among VMware users, 69% report having vCenter Server. 52% of Hyper-V shops use Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager, and 23% of Citrix shops use Citrix Essentials for XenServer.
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