Management technology will allow virtualization to achieve its full potential, according to CA CEO John Swainson during his keynote at CA World 2008 (PDF) on Sunday.
Enterprises are held back by concerns about, for example, lack of control over virtual machines, said Swainson, according to a transcript of the speech.
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Swainson sees a number of benefits with virtualization, from reduced costs, improved service quality, and increased agility to a smaller carbon footprint and reduced business risk.
But like other technologies that have the potential to deliver substantial business value, virtualization is accompanied by an equally substantial challenge, because it can add a layer of complexity to an already complex IT environment, according to Swainson.
"I believe that management is the killer app for virtualization. What I mean by that is that management is the technology that will allow virtualization to achieve its full potential -- to deliver all the benefits that people have talked about for so long," Swainson said.
CA has launched several products for managing virtual environments. In October, for example, it announced Data Center Automation Manager, a product for managing the provisioning of both physical and virtualized datacenter resources and systems in an automated, rules-based manner.
The move toward management tools that can handle both physical and virtualized systems has been a big trend this year, according to Nathaniel Martinez, program director in IDC's European System and Infrastructure Solutions Group. Companies such as Microsoft, VMware, HP, BMC, and CA are all pushing the same agenda, but nobody has a complete solution at this stage, according Martinez.
The integration of the two worlds is a step in the right direction for enterprise management. Using one management platform for each type of system is like trying to drive a car using two wheels, Martinez said.
In general, companies have not been very good at taking advantage of their management tools. "It takes a leap of faith to start relying on automated management tools, and many companies are still relying on system administrators," said Martinez.
But the current economic climate could change all that. The demand for savings are forcing companies to take a closer look at how they could take better advantage of what management tools can do. "Next year could see a big jump," Martinez said.