Complex Virtualization Infrastructure Drives More Sophisticated Management Software Requirements, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – February 19, 2009 – As virtualization moves beyond early test implementations to take on mainstream roles across corporate IT environments, IT organizations with the most mature and complex virtualization implementations (more than 50 virtual machines in operation) are demanding more sophisticated tools to help manage these environments. According to new research from IDC, the experience of companies with larger scale virtualization implementations indicates how important state-of-the-art management software tools and best practices are to assuring effective operation of these increasingly mission critical environments.

A recent IDC survey of 100 North American IT decision makers – responsible for virtualization infrastructure – showed that 56% of the more complex/mature organizations believe that management of their organization's virtual environment is critical to reaching the organization's business goals, compared to just 24% of the decision makers responsible for less complex environments. "To be successful, organizations expecting to grow their virtualization environments need to simultaneously invest in appropriate management tools, best practices and automation," said Mary Johnston Turner, research director, System Management Software.

Other key findings from the IDC survey include the following:

* 79% of organizations with more than 50 virtual machines report they currently apply or plan to apply ITIL or other best practice process models to managing their virtual infrastructure. This compares to 48% of the less complex organizations

* 70% of larger implementations currently use or plan to deploy common management tools across physical and virtual environments, compared to 53% of the less complex organizations.

* 70% of decision makers responsible for larger implementations expect automation to play a very important role in their virtualization management environment going forward. This compares to 37% of the less complex organizations.

The study, North American Virtualization Survey: Large-Scale Implementation Requires Sophisticated Management Strategy (IDC #216623), provides findings from IDC's recent virtualization survey. During the fourth quarter of 2008, IDC conducted a web survey on the topic of virtual infrastructure management. One hundred North American decision makers were asked over 35 questions relating to their current and planned use of infrastructure virtualization technologies and management tools. This report analyzes the differences in virtual infrastructure management priorities among organizations with fairly complex and mature virtual infrastructure environments compared to organizations that have less mature environments.

For more information about IDC's virtualization research, or to purchase this document, contact IDC Sales at 508-988-7988 or email

About IDC

IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services and events for the information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 45 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting