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Like Golf, Virtualization Is About Right Tools, Right Time

I was in a situation last week where someone asked me why they should use our VMware-specific software vs. the incumbent software that they already had for their physical servers. Luckily for me, one of our sales guys was there who thinks quickly on his feet and said back to the guy, "Do you golf with just one golf club?" After a good chuckle we all agreed that you should always choose the right tool for the job. The golf analogy just seems to fit perfectly.

As virtualization adoption grows, so will the market of software that supports it. As with any new infrastructure, many of the tools that worked great in the physical world don't work so great in the virtual world. What you end up with is a bag full of different tools, each assigned to a specific task (much like golf). Of course there's the promise of all-in-one solutions, just like you can buy a complete set of golf clubs -- including bag -- at your local, big-box discount retailer. Anyone who's serious about golf knows that to be the best, you need the best equipment. It's all about winning.

Why should your IT infrastructure be any different? Do you want the discount all-in-one that does everything "OK" or do you want the best-of-breed solutions for every part of your infrastructure?

Of course, people will say that they want "one solution for all platforms" and while that sounds great, it's not currently realistic. In the virtualization ecosphere, we'll see a lot of changes over the next several years but I don't think we’re currently at the point of convergence for virtual infrastructure management or disaster recovery.

Eventually, the market will coalesce around strong management and DR solutions that do a number of things very well. In fact, it's my contention, as I've said before, that IT will move to 100 percent or near 100 percent virtualization of the data center in the near future -- the advantages are simply too compelling. Until that day arrives, IT will be in the uncomfortable position of needing  tools for both the physical infrastructure and tools for the virtual infrastructure.

Some organizations may be able to get along with "all-in-one" tools that claim to manage both, but they certainly won't be able to win.

Posted by Doug Hazelman on 03/22/2011 at 12:49 PM


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