New EMA Research Takes an In-Depth Look at Network Management and the Responsible, Virtualized Cloud

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EMA research examines how network managers are most commonly being affected by the need to monitor Cloud service performance and quality, as well as being tasked with understanding the impact that server virtualization and Cloud services are having on day-to-day priorities.

Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), a leading IT and data management research and consulting firm, has released its latest research report entitled, “Network Management and the Responsible, Virtualized Cloud.” One of the greatest “innovations” within the current IT climate is that of Cloud Services, making it easier, faster and cheaper to procure IT services and, thus, improve business agility and resilience. Another innovation has been that of x86 server virtualization, which is well down the path of proven returns by optimizing server utilization and operational flexibility. The two innovations are distinct and yet interrelated – in particular, Cloud services would not be nearly as interesting or compelling without server virtualization. And, both have a direct impact on IT operations and management teams, including network engineering and operations.

The primary driver behind this new EMA research report is the need to understand the impact that server virtualization and Cloud services are having on the day-to-day priorities and activities of network managers. It was also compelled by a set of finding from EMA’s seminal Report, “The Responsible Cloud,” published in January 2010. In that research, EMA found that Service Quality and Performance was ranked as one of the very highest operational concerns for Cloud Service deployments – second only to security – and that the network team was most commonly being held responsible for assuring that quality and performance. Despite this finding, there was little evidence at the time that network managers were being given the tools or the access they would need to satisfy such requirements. This research was structured to not only look more deeply into that finding, including whether or not network managers are still on the hot seat a year later, but more importantly to understand what real impact Cloud services deployments are having on network management tools, technologies and practices.

“Network management and operations professionals are being asked to step in and support these new technologies,” said Jim Frey, Managing Research Director at EMA. “From our research, we found that most all network practice areas and tools were being affected – particular performance monitoring and management. We also found that network management tasks typically associated with both visibility and control of non-cloud and non-virtualized environments were considered to be very important for these new settings as well.”

Some of the key findings of the research - based on 151 surveyed IT professionals - include:
*Most Cloud deployers also use server virtualization, but 35% of those who are using server virtualization have yet to embrace Cloud
*Large organizations are more likely to utilize private, external Cloud service, while mid-size organization prefer internal Cloud constructs
*All Cloud workload type deployments are growing, but the largest growth in the past year was seen in desktop applications, security services, and packaged enterprise applications
*47% of IT organizations loosely integrate Cloud visibility and control, while nearly ¼ are totally disconnected

“One of the most compelling findings was the variations in integration success by organization size and by whether or not cloud services were in use,” continued Frey. “Large shops were struggling the most with management integration, and those who had deployed both cloud and server virtualization in parallel were making better progress across the board with integrating management than those who had only deployed server virtualization.”

The thirty-one page research report is available for purchase online at: http://www.enterprisemanagement.com/research/asset.php?id=1927

A free on-demand Webinar featuring highlights from the research report is available at: http://www.enterprisemanagement.com/research/asset.php?id=1914

About Enterprise Management Associates
Founded in 1996, Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) is a leading industry analyst firm that provides deep insight across the full spectrum of IT and data management technologies. EMA analysts leverage a unique combination of practical experience, insight into industry best practices, and in-depth knowledge of current and planned vendor solutions to help its clients achieve their goals. Learn more about EMA research, analysis, and consulting services for enterprise line of business users, IT professionals and IT vendors at http://www.enterprisemanagement.com or blogs.enterprisemanagement.com. You can also follow EMA on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ema_research.

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Raleigh Gould