IT shops taking a measured approach to virtualization upgrades


A new survey out this morning from Symantec looks at the trends in virtualization planning for both government and the private sector. For the study, Symantec commissioned King Research to field a survey of IT professionals during the period of November 2012 through March 2013, totaling 530 organizations throughout North America, Europe, Latin America and the Asia/Pacific region. Symantec asked IT shops what their plans were for migration, specifically to new windows servers, often in the midst of many other upgrades and device changes.

According to the results, virtualization remains on the to-do list for organizations but most are looking at it further down the road. Only 18% of those surveyed have 75% or more of their organizations virtualized, despite the significant cost savings involved with changing over to a virtual environment.

“Virtualization is something organizations have been talking about for a long time, and they are making the transition, but its going to take a while,” says study author Susie Spencer, Senior Product Marketing Manager in an interview with CivSource.

Just over half of respondents said they plan to move to full virtualization in the next two years. At the state and local government level, virtualization often starts with the low hanging fruit like email systems, bringing larger agencies like human services, or education systems is a significantly larger task.

Recent upgrades may also be playing a role, 53% of those surveyed said that they plan to move to Windows 2012 virtual environment but the majority – 93% hadn’t made the move yet. Cost to upgrade remains a core driver of hesitancy, as many organizations moved to the 2008 Windows server which still maintains most of its functionality. “Almost half of those in the survey were on Windows 2008 servers,” Spencer says, noting that the 53% will likely move slowly to Windows 2012.

For organizations that are making the switch, Microsoft’s recent changes to its desktop functionality including Hyper V are drawing attention and converts. The addition of ReFS, a more resilient filing system that improves scalability and resource management has also drawn the eye of resource strained IT shops. These same IT shops are also very interested in single solutions for information storage and security 92% said that they would be interested in learning more about a single solution option.