Hard work – does it pay off?? It appears not.

Oh well, it looks like hard work doesn’t actually pay off, I am no further forward where virtualising my company is concerned, at the top I have my CIO who has two very strong willed people giving her two very distinct views, me very heavily in favour of virtualisation and the Infrastructure manager who is VERY heavily against it.

I now need to provide very good justifications as to why they should spend out a lot of money to virtualise the environment when the Infrastructure manager says it simply doesn’t fit our support\work model.

With potentially a month left on my contract do I push further and risk no renewal or just sit back and accept that for whatever reason they simply won’t virtualise and leave it at that?

Sometimes I feel like I should be banging my head against a brick wall 🙁



  1. Although I am not a consultant I am in very similar circumstances. We have a Executive Director and a Financial director. The CEO doesn’t know what to do, nor does she ever want to spend money unless it’s absolutely necessary. I.T. is merely a an every growing expense that seemingly doesn’t return much back to the company. To make matters worse, virtualizing traditionaly has a steep entry price requiring centrallized storage to gain the benefits of virtualizing in the first place. Given the shaky economy, general norm of office politics and the ubiquitous ladder climing crawl over anyone you have to atmosphere, the CFO has to make all the decisions; Even the ones she doesn’t understand. Your problem isn’t to convince the CIO to virtualize so much as it is convincing the Infrastructure guy that virtualizing is good for him and getting him to sell the product with you. What does the infrastructure guy stand to gain? Disaster Recovery piece of mind. Image based backups and restore. Snapshots and rollbacks for upgrade piece of mind. DRS. Reduced Power consumption. Reduced Cooling requirements. Virtual Test environment. Scalability… it’s very easy to add more ‘Virtual’ servers for subsequent projects. Reduced Costs. Consolidated and more efficient use of Storage. Better resource utilization. Management of resources and resource allocations to provide guaranteed service levels. Smaller rack foot print. Ability to shutdown and start servers remotely…. I’m sure you can come up with your own.

    • Chris, thanks for the reply.

      I agree with you that bringing the infrastructure manager on board was the thing to do and your arguments were ones that I also came up with, trust me I spent a great deal of time trying to do just that, what it came down to however was this, the infrastructure manager simply didn’t want to virtualise his environment because he saw it as a threat to his power base and a risk to losing his staff, he didn’t understand that in actual fact this empowered him and his staff more because it would have put them in a position to not only manage and maintain their own IT infrastructure but also that of other health care providers in the area (these guys are a multi county healthcare establishment with over 5000 staff in various positions, as an entity if they don’t grow their service offerings they will be swallowed up by someone who does grow their offerings).

      Fortunately for me I grew more and more tired of working with these people, I got so tired of people being scared of upsetting people lower down the ladder that in the end I walked away from the position into something bigger and better.

      I did learn from this however, I learnt that no matter how good the technology and what it can offer you, there are just some people who don’t want it no matter what it can do for them. Unfortunately those people tend to be the ones that senior management listen to.

  2. If you already have an investment in storage technologies and have a decent network, then you are probably in a good place to go down the virtualisation path today….

    The way to present things may be to talk about DR/BCP capabilites. Depending on your size, a SRM solution with VMWARE might be good, or if a little smaller look at the VEEAM side of things.

    It can also reduce your server room footprint as well…

    I find it hard to believe that people still have there head in the sand as far as virtualisation is concerned….it tells me that they perhaps do not really understand the “datacentre” and its management as well as they think they do….

    Chris above pretty much sums it up ( I just read it again and saw I was saying similar things)

  3. Seems to me, if this was the extent of your arguments that you have failed yourself. You cannot sell anyone virtualization based on promises of possible outcomes. Too many people have been promised too much over the years to buy into things they don’t understand.

    You will have to sit down, research the environment you plan to replace, set down the upfront costs (including training) and the long term savings based on hardware refreshes, power, cooling, maintenance saved, etc. and show this in terms of the money. The steep payouts make people nervous. You have to break that with the long term savings.

    Plus, without knowing more personally about the machines and environment, why should we think that the infrastructure manager was wrong? It if doesn’t fit, it doesn’t fit. There is almost nothing in our main environment that makes sense to virtualize, but that is ALL about workload. And we do still use VMs. Telling us a little more about the workloads of what you want to move would be helpful in the future.

    • Ed,

      As I mentioned I have since left that company, infact I left it 4 months ago and am now doing something different.

  4. First let me say Virtualization is NOT for everything. I am managing a Tier 2 Data Center for a fortune 20 company. I have watch them virtualize the following.

    20 Severs, each with 4 Quad Core CUP’s and 16 Gb Ram on SAN, CPU is always at 80 – 90%, memory is always at 70 – 80% with spikes to 95%. IO traffic is also very steep.

    They went out and bouth massivley loaded DL580’s and found they had to buy additional CPU and memory just to run VMWare.

    The power utilization and BTU’s generated from these “virtual” systems is roughly 45% higher than the total for their 20 servers, also they had a system crash that took down 5 mission critical VM’s. Since none of the other systems had any capacity this saved NOTHING, and in fact added to the cost of ownership in VMWare licensing and support which would not have been necessary had they left well enough alone.

    Having said that there are many areas in this data center where their VMWare provides tremendous value. Testing and development, executing a P2V once a week and having a couple systems on standby they can load up in the event of an emergency just to get them back online until their production system is running.

    My personal Opinion is that VMWare while is can provide great value to a company, to go down the route of EVERYTHING to virtual is a dangerous road to go down. Can we say all eggs in one basket?

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