Computer Business Review

Application performance issues slow virtual uptake

by Janine Milne| 07 January 2010

Firms wary of putting mission-critical apps on virtual machines

Performance problems are preventing companies from putting their mission-critical applications on virtual machines or into the cloud.

A Dimension Data poll at Oracle Open World revealed that although virtualisation was overwhelmingly seen as a great way to save money, only 24% of the 1,200 respondents dared to run their mission-critical applications on virtual machines. A sizeable 78% of respondents said that they had experienced issues with application performance.

According to Zohar Gilad, executive vice president at Precise Software Solutions, application transaction performance management is the key challenge for virtualised environments, making companies think twice about using virtual machines for their key business applications. Answering simple questions such as: is an IT problem impacting the business, who is responsible for fixing it and do they know how to find and fix the problem, are so difficult in a virtualised environment that large firms are shying away from virtualising business-critical applications.

“These are relatively simple questions to which the solution is application transaction performance management. People are so restrained about accepting virtualisation for mission-critical applications because the simple answer is that getting these challenges figured out is going to be very difficult in this environment,” pointed out Gilad.

Typically, a problem raised sets off a train reaction of “blame storming” as individuals in operations, database management, application development and other IT units each try to persuade others that it’s not their department’s problem. But in a virtual environment, constant change means that it’s difficult to build a picture of what’s happened at one given moment, particularly as computing resources are shared.

Although Gilad says that Precise Software has a solution to meet this needm there is nothing that can handle the high resource contention and dynamic change inherent in the cloud space.

“The cloud is virtualisation on steroids, and that’s the reason people are treading very, very carefully,” said Gilad, adding that Precise Software hopes to have a cloud solution later this year.

Gilad sees that we will see more applications virtualised from 2011 onwards. “In the next three to four years, people are going to rewrite applications to transition for virtualisation and the cloud,” he said.

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