Improving application performance is the top business priority for virtualized environments, at 51% of respondents, according to a Gridstore study on the top priorities surrounding mid-market enterprises’ virtual infrastructure requirements.
Other priorities include the need to reduce I/O bottlenecks between virtual machines and storage (34%), the need for increased virtual machine density (34%), the need to decrease storage costs (27%), and the need for improved manageability for virtualized systems (24%).
Analyst research concurs. “With the increasing demands on IT, users have less tolerance for poor application performance,” said Mike Leone, ESG Lab Engineer, Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG). “Many organizations resist moving tier-1 applications to virtual servers for fear that workload aggregation will slow performance. As a poor attempt to combat the problem, organizations add more hardware and software to the IT infrastructure, but with that comes higher costs and increased complexity. ESG research on virtualization revealed that after budget concerns and lack of legacy application support, performance issues were the key concern preventing organizations from expanding their virtualization deployments.”
Respondents in the Gridstore survey demonstrated agreement that storage resources have a direct correlation to the application performance and, as a result, ROI derived from virtualization projects.
When asked about the top five factors they consider when choosing storage systems for virtualization projects, some of the highest priority responses included the ability for storage to scale performance as needed (47%), the ability for storage to scale capacity as needed (47%), and the ability for storage to scale I/O as needed (37%).
Despite the performance challenges of virtualization, however, 18% of respondents reported that they have plans to support additional hypervisors in the next 12 months. The hypervisors of choice for new planned support were VMware vSphere5 (52%), Microsoft Hyper-V (38%) and Citrix Xen (18%).
“We continue to hear that poor application performance, I/O bottlenecks and VM density challenges are impacting the return on investment mid-market enterprises anticipated from their virtual infrastructure investments,” said Kelly Murphy, founder and CSO, Gridstore. “End users are complaining performance is bad, management is complaining they are not getting the promised ROI and IT is caught in the middle chasing phantom performance problems. IT can either over provision hardware to boost performance, or sacrifice ROI with lower server consolidation. This is a painful position to be in.”
About the survey: The Gridstore survey included responses from 353 organizations representing multiple industry categories particularly in the areas of technology (14%), healthcare (13%), education (11%), government (8%), and finance (6%). The majority of responding companies had over 1,000 employees (93%) and more than 100 servers (59%).