“In their pitches to customers, vendors tend to exaggerate the number of
servers that can actually be consolidated which can be misleading for
enterprises looking to invest in this technology,” said Matt Brudzynski,
senior research analyst at Info-Tech Research Group. “Vendors are quoting high
consolidation ratios of 12 or more virtual machines per processor, while in
reality only about half that, six virtual machines per processor is the common
average at this time.”

Virtualization is a technique that ‘fools’ servers into thinking they are
unique devices when in fact they become a shared resource, reducing the number
of physical boxes needed in the data center. Info-Tech’s Impact Research
report, “The Business Case in Virtualization”, provides IT managers with the
information they need to make a business case for purchasing decisions.

The high consolidation rates touted by vendors aren’t actually happening
because customers need to leave adequate capacity on existing host servers for
load-balancing, emergency back-up, and ensuring adequate data throughput to
disk storage, Brudzynski said. The leading providers of X.86 server
consolidation technology are VMWare and Microsoft Corp.

“The industry is moving closer to the target of higher consolidation with
introduction of quad-core processors that are at the early stages of
deployment in the marketplace,” said Brudzynski. “These processors provide
greater throughput to disk storage and will help vendors more effectively
deliver on consolidation promises.”

Prior to implementing virtualization, IT managers should do thorough
analysis of server utilization data over the past year, as well as workload
forecasting and future performance modeling to ensure the right technology
choices are made to achieve desired consolidation, Info-Tech advises.