June 15, 2011 – More than 75 percent of organizations are discussing private and hybrid cloud deployments, while those using virtualization technologies cite disappointments in new deployment, application delivery and compatibility, a new study suggests.

Security provider Symantec’s recent virtualization survey examined how organizations plan to move business-critical initiatives to virtual environments. Findings show that organizations are still learning what these technologies are capable of and how to overcome the challenges they bring with them.

The survey asked respondents about their initial goals and goals achieved. The difference between the two answers revealed average gap between expected and realized goals of 26 percent. Symantec says these gaps are typical of early stage markets where expectations are out of step with reality. As the virtualization and cloud markets continue to mature, those gaps are expected to close.

Server virtualization projects were most successful, with only a 4 percent average gap between expected and realized goals. The biggest gaps occurred in scalability, reducing capital expenditures and reducing operating expenditures. Average shortfall in storage virtualization was 33 percent, with disappointments in agility, scalability and reducing operating expenditures.

Of enterprises implementing virtualization, more than half (59 percent) plan to virtualize database applications in the next 12 months. Fifty-five percent plan to virtualize Web applications, and 47 percent plan to virtualize email and calendar applications. Forty-one percent plan to virtualize ERP applications.

In responses where chosen from a number of issues, the top concerns cited about virtualization were reliability (78 percent), security (76 percent), and performance (76 percent).

The survey suggests that planning a seamless move is critical to achieving the simplicity, affordability and efficiency that virtual environments offer.

Symantec offers tips to help make a smooth transition, foremost of which is to ensure alignment between IT and executives. Treat the virtualization initiative as an IT-wide initiative with all departments included in planning and implementation. In addition, the security provider recommended leveraging and modernizing existing infrastructure, setting realistic expectations and tracking results.

The survey was conducted by Applied Research in April 2011 included 3,700 enterprises from 35 countries worldwide. Respondents represented a wide range of industries and included a mix of C-level executives (31 percent), IT management focused on strategy (35 percent), and IT management focused on tactics (34 percent).

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