IOUG Survey Finds Advanced Virtualization Efforts are Key to Addressing Information Infrastructure Challenges

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With data volumes and database instances on the rise, organizations are encountering challenges in managing and maintaining their information infrastructure, according to the results of the 2010 IOUG Enterprise Platform Decisions Survey. Participants in the survey acknowledged that steps need to be taken to control the costs and complexity of their data environments while addressing the need for continued growth. The use of advanced virtualization strategies was identified by respondents as a key to better managing these diverse environments.

Most respondents indicated they already have server virtualization in place, and half are looking at database virtualization to increase the value of their data infrastructure. However, since data resources from many parts of the organization need to be engaged, the main challenge to these efforts are organizational and political, versus technical. According to the research, organizations with advanced virtualization efforts underway are able to more effectively grow their data capabilities while controlling staff time and costs.

The most surprising finding of the survey was not the increasing use of virtualization, but the continued proliferation of database instances, Ian Abramson, IOUG president, tells 5 Minute Briefing. "We have come through a time of cost-cutting and consolidations, and yet somehow databases continue to proliferate," he notes. "That is obviously why virtualization is becoming important."

Abramson, who is in Las Vegas this week for COLLABORATE 10, had just attended a presentation at the conference in which the proliferation of information was addressed. "What is happening is that for every copy of a production database, there are probably eight other copies of that data somewhere in your organization-whether it is in test or development, or training or somewhere else," he notes. Organizations are creating more database instances without rationalizing the need. "This is creating problems for companies."

More than eight out of 10 respondents reported that the number of database instances within or across their companies has increased over the past year. UNIX is still a strong choice of architecture for respondents, but many also are moving to so-called "commodity" platforms. And, while cost reduction is the primary driver for virtualization, efforts to move to virtualization are most likely to be hampered by up-front budget constraints and organizational issues.

The survey also revealed that respondents who are embracing high levels of virtualization are more likely to be expanding their production database environments. Virtualization is more prevalent in data development environments than production settings. One out of two respondents was able to increase development database deployments with virtualization.

The study, "Toward a Smarter Information Foundation - 2010 IOUG Enterprise Platform Decisions Survey," was conducted for the IOUG by Unisphere Research in November 2009 and was sponsored by VMware.

For a PDF of the Executive Summary of the research, go here.

The Executive Summary and complete 31-page survey are available as a member benefit to all IOUG members at the IOUG website.