Earlier today, VMware and Forrester released the results of a late 2013 survey about the virtualization habits of SMBs. In particular, this survey was run between November and December 2013, and includes responses from 389 SMB IT Professionals from the US, UK, France and Germany.
One of the foremost findings of this survey was that 71% of respondents said they expected their virtual environment to grow within the coming year, but only 34% of those SMBs will be able to hire the additional staff to manage the growth in infrastructure. In addition, the survey showed that 53% of applications are virtualized in the SMB sector, but that only 45% are “very satisfied” with the ROI of Virtualization.
Though the specific benefits of Virtualization for SMBs are well-known (better uptime, efficiency), SMBs continue to face challenges in budget and staff for this technology on which they rely so heavily. So how do SMBs need to adapt to combat these challenges?
One of the primary recommendations to SMBs is to make capacity management a continuous process. The recent survey found that only 28% of respondents track their virtual infrastructure capacity on a continuous basis. In fact, most of the respondents (57%) said that they only track capacity once a month. In addition, 48% of respondents said that they “right-size” virtual machines only when there’s an issue, and only 28% of respondents use standardized templates to help them properly fit the virtual machine to the end-user’s needs. Over the long run, this lack of attention can affect end-user experience and lead to unnecessary expenses on the SMB’s part.
When it comes to identifying existing and potential issues on the virtual infrastructure, 42% of respondents said that they hear about issues from the business user, or not at all. SMBs must strive to be more proactive about identifying problems. Also, it is recommended that SMBs collect their performance and capacity data in the same location, to decrease the time needed to solve most end-users’ performance issues.
The final key recommendation of this survey is to employ virtualization tools that are intuitive and transparent for all staff members. This allows IT staff to all get on the same page faster and increase the probability of finding issues before they reach the end-user.
To view more of the survey report, please visit the site at: http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/VMware-Expand-Your-Virtual-Infrastructure-With-Confidence-And-Control.pdf