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No Need to Gamble

By Alan Sears | Jun 12, 2011 | Insights

It’s no great secret that server virtualization can save a company money. The statement, while the topic of many a blog post 5 years ago as a theorem, is accepted as a law today. This industry “given” has created a great deal of complacency in IT directors and financial officers alike. The simple concept of serving the same user base with the same level of computing using less physical hardware almost proves lower cost just in the statement alone, right?  Only if you believe that the only change in costs between the two scenarios (non-virtualized vs. virtualized) is in the cost of the hardware… and even then, aren’t you investing in more hardware for lager, higher-capacity servers at the very beginning of the virtualization project? Surely, as with any major change in technology, other devices, systems, processes, and administration are affected. This would surely suggest that the costs of these areas are affected as well.

Computer Associated performed a study of 800 organizations who had undergone a virtualization project. 44% of respondents who said they had deployed server virtualization were unable to declare their deployment a success. A key factor in their reluctance to claim positive results was their inability to quantify the ROI. These were companies who believe the theorem as a law, and trudged ahead believing cost savings would just materialize as soon as they started consolidating servers. Poorly planned virtualization projects with repeated surprises and adjustments, along with poorly executed virtualization plans can make any IT organization feel like they may not be getting the promised results from their investment.

With any scientific endeavor, the quantifying of investment savings being no different, a clear baseline measurement to measure against is a necessity. How can you say how much was saved if you can’t accurately compare it to how much you were spending before. And as discussed above, this has to include more than just the cost of server hardware. Additionally, a clear plan of consolidation by someone experienced in virtualization practices will provide the best opportunity to capture all the savings virtualization has to offer. A project that only implements part of the features of virtualization will only recognize a portion of the cost savings. Will that be enough to tip the scales to a positive ROI?

Don’t gamble with your IT budget and hope that virtualization it a sure bet. Ask us how TBL can perform a Virtualization Financial Impact Analysis on your server infrastructure and provide a plan for a project that delivers the technology and the cost savings.

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