When InfoWorld held its first Virtualization Executive Forum in September 2006, we were hard-pressed to find companies willing to talk about their virtualization efforts. It was just too early. Until companies can point to a success, they're not going to let a bunch of reporters crawl all over their infrastructure taking notes.
What a difference a year makes. This time around, we're happy to present an array of stories detailing server virtualization initiatives in five different enterprises. All of them have had significant impact on datacenter efficiency, but the tales of how these pioneers got there -- and how they calculated the cost savings to date -- will inform anyone seriously thinking about taking the virtualization plunge.
A common thread in these stories is the crucial, initial assessment of which servers should and should not be added to the virtualization pool. After these judgments are made, virtualization tends to progress quickly -- in some cases, too quickly. The ease of creating virtual machines can create a management nightmare without the proper procedures in place.
In today's complex IT environments, server virtualization simply makes sense. Redundant server hardware can rapidly fill enterprise datacenters to capacity, with each new purchase driving up power and cooling costs. As these real-world accounts illustrate, dividing physical servers into virtual servers is an effective way to restore sanity and keep IT expenditures under control.