The hype has been huge. The benefits, unbelievably good. But as loudly as we might sing its praises, it’s time for us to stop for a minute and admit something about virtualization: it’s harder to manage than we initially thought. Okay, it’s much harder.

If you’ve gone virtual (and most of us have — at least partially), you’ve probably already received a morning-after reality check: the difficulties of tracking roving virtual machines (VMs), tracking trends in VM usage levels and containing virtual sprawl. Through new technology and best practices, we’ve made some respectable progress in these areas. But an equally steep challenge lies ahead on the virtualization horizon: maintaining application performance.

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