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Virtualization: Evolution not Revolution
By Dan Kusnetzky, Principal Analyst Many in the industry are speaking about virtual machine software and virtualized environments as if it is a revolution. Since much of the technology has been seen in mainframes and midrange systems for almost three decades, this is not likely to be true. The infrastructure of most organizations is a chronological layercake of technologies making revolutionary changes problematic. Virtualization, when added to the mix, can be either a wonderful thing or something that will magnify current issues. Most organizations follow the “Golden Rules of IT” when adopting new technology.

Most IT executives understand that maintenance is a very large part of their budget. Since they’refacing the task of keeping everything running, they tend to be “very prudent” making major changes. Over time, a set of unspoken rules has come to guide decisions about new technology and the adoption process. Here’s a quick summary of those rules: 1) If it's not broken, don't fix it. Most organizations simply don't have the time, the resources or the funds to re-implement things that arecurrently working. Don't touch it, you'll break it. Most organizations of any size are using a complex mix of systems that were developed over several decades. Changing working systems that are based upon older technologies, older architectures and older methodologies has to be done very carefully if the intended results and only the intended results are to be achieved. If you touched it and it broke, itwill take longer to fix and, in all likelihood, cost more than you think to fix. Most of today's systems are a complex mix of technology. If the organization is going to be updating part of that tower of software, IT executives must be prepared for unexpected consequences. See Rule 2. Good enough is good enough. Although it would be nice to have the luxury of unlimited amounts of time, resourcesand funding and be able to develop every conceivable feature, most IT executives know that they are only going to be allowed the time, the resources and the funding to satisfy roughly 50% to 60% of requests for new capabilities. The rest of their resources are focused on maintaining the status quo. Don't make major changes unless people are screaming! If the user population isn’t screaming, ITexecutives focus their attention on Rule #4, good enough is good enough. If the user population is merely asking for changes, IT executives focus on Rule 2, don't touch it, you'll break it, and Rule 3, if you touched it and broke it, it will take longer to fix than you think. If they begin screaming, IT executives know that they’ll have to do something to respond. They do their best to “touch thingsvery lightly.”





Document #20071205

The Kusnetzky Group © 2007

The Kusnetzky Group is an independent supplier of marketing services to suppliers end user organizations and suppliers in the systems, virtualization and open source technology markets. Suppliers of hardware, software and virtualization technology are among those organizations. The opinions presented inthis document are based upon our research, our personal experiences and actual use of technology regardless of whether this document or the supporting research were sponsored by one or more of the Kusnetzky Group’s clients. This document may not be copied in whole or in part without the written permission of the Kusnetzky Group.


Embrace your "jerkdom." Everyone knows that theorganization’s IT infrastructure has to move forward and embrace new technology. The organization must be as efficient and successful as possible. In short IT executives know that they must do the best they can with the resources, the time and the funding available and accept the fact that many years from now someone will look at what was done and come to the conclusion that what was done was insufficient...
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