Although many government agencies are turning to virtualization and reaping benefits from it, many are not implementing virtualization to the full extent possible due to budget and staff shortages.
CDW Government, the public sector arm of technology company CDW, surveyed 600 IT managers from federal, state and other government agencies, finding that 77 percent use some sort of virtualization. Of that group, 89 percent are benefiting in some way, either from lower operating and capital costs, improved IT staff productivity or better utilization of computing resources and equipment.
Virtualization at the federal level is being spurred by a memorandum issued earlier this year by President Barack Obama that calls for agencies to submit data center consolidation plans by Aug. 30 with the aim of cutting costs by $3 billion by 2015.
While many IT managers reported they are using virtualization, 81 percent said they are not using it to the full extent possible, and only 33 percent have a “virtualization first” policy. Nevertheless, most plan to have client, server and storage virtualization in place by 2015.
About 46 percent of those surveyed said their virtualization strategy has been successful, 43 percent said they’ve been somewhat successful, and 11 percent have not seen any success at all. While one county said it was able to cut out half of its physical serves, one federal IT manager said having systems spread around the world and tech support that can’t keep up with technology is hindering success.
One key connection found by the survey was that having a knowledgeable and proficient Chief Information Officer was tied to agencies with “virtualization first” strategies and staff that is trained and at appropriate levels.
And security, which was seen as the second highest barrier to virtualization in last year’s survey, is now seen as a benefit and was listed as only the seventh highest barrier by IT managers this year.
The full results of the survey are compiled in CDW Government’s 2010 Government Virtualization Report.
Virtual world data center – CC license by Flickr user epredator