Businesses will need to open their wallets if they want to be technology leaders as virtualization is expensive, Gartner analyst, Thomas Bittman said yesterday.
Speaking at Garttner's infrastructure, operations and data centre summit in Sydney, Bittman said the number of virtual machines will rise from 540,000 currently in use to four million by 2009.
However, he said it will be an expensive exercise for businesses and told IT managers that the problems with virtualization, such as licensing, support and emerging technologies will be slowly ironed-out.
"Competition is good, and VMware in particular, doesn't have strong competition in the market," Bittman said, adding that the virtualization hypervisor will be free in the near future.
He said business should build a strong data centre governance strategy to fend-off vendors which will begin vying for third party managerial control of virtualization.
"Vendors will be competing for [data centre] governance so you need to have a solid strategy," Bittman said.
"Most vendors are attempting to be the one control point in infrastructure automation, and strategies like on-demand, adaptive enterprise, dynamic systems initiative, but none of them can deliver."
"Don't blindly follow their strategic lead; rather build your own strategy based on your needs and your view of the future."
Gartner senior analyst, Phil Sargent, said virtualization will be part of nearly every aspect of IT by 2015 and recommended IT managers query vendors now about how they will accommodate their application with the new technology.
"Virtualization will bring more consumer client applications into the data centre which needs to be discussed with vendors as well," Sargent said.
"There are still [problems] with virtualization in support and software licensing and not everything can be virtualized; this will clear-up over the next two to four years."
Real Time Infrastructure (RTI), a term coined by Gartner, encapsulates the benefits in improved data centre policies, SLAs, agility and cost derived from sharing infrastructure resources between businesses and internal departments.