In previous posts, I covered the 3 main stages of virtualization adoption and the key elements driving the virtualization journey. Just a reminder that most of the material in these posts comes directly from our customers through a primary research project that we carried out last summer.
Let’s now double-click on the Business Production phase.
During the IT Production phase customers tend to virtualize Test and Dev servers as well as assets that IT owns, infrastructure services such as file, print, web, domain controller and so on. Customer stay in this loop for a while until one of these three main event happen
- One, they deliver so much value in the form of cost savings, that somebody more senior in the organization notices and they provides them with the air cover to scale the virtualization effort
- Two, they run out of things to virtualize and so they have to go and find something else to do. This typically happens around 25-35% virtualization level (unless they are an ISV)
- Third, they get hit by a big major trigger. For example they buy a new company and they need to integrate the assets, or they are about to have to build a new data center and that pushes them to the next phase.
The next phase is what we call business production and we call it business production because this is when a customer virtualizes their first mission critical application or database. Customers in this stage are in a different league because they need to learn a whole set of new tricks, they need to learn how to deal with application owners.
This transition is not always easy and the reason why this is a chasm for most customers is that all of a sudden, IT organizations go from virtualizing what they own to virtualizing business applications that are owned by somebody else.
That somebody else is typically an application owner or line of business IT and those guys sit at the top of a pile of concerns of which saving money on servers is not the top priority.
They are concerned with risks, performance, ISV support, uptime, business continuity… and so on and so forth.
We find that as customers transition through this phase successfully, these concerns will go away over time and they get into what we call, “resistance is futile” phase your application will be virtualized and we are not even going to tell you. There are a lot of customers that do this, but it’s a transition. They need to get comfortable, learn how to use features like HA, FT, SRM, and so on to address the line of business owner concerns. Once the information about initial successes gets around, the push back from application owners and database administrators goes away. Sponsorship from the CIO always helps.
The main business drivers for this phase are
- Business continuity
- Better quality of service for business application and databases
- OPEX savings
Capex savings are still a factor but it is like customers at this point take them for granted and move their attention to building a better environment for business applications and databases to run on.
In the next few posts I am going to cover what happens in this phase, what type of applications get virtualized, what are the best practices around it and so on. Stay tuned