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February 2011 Volume 6

Virtualization: Panacea and Pandora’s Box

The Transformative powers of virtualization on the business and IT are as endless as the management complexities introduced by virtualization. With virtualization, enterprises invite not only agility, lean operations, disaster recovery and business continuity, but also a management quagmire of policies, best practices documentation and tool sets that are a cycle behind the speed at which virtual environments are created. At last count, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. had 220 Vmware ESX sockets in place, with 110 hosts across three data center sites—actually, make that 252 sockets. As we spoke, Chris Pray, senior engineer of Vertex’s global information systems group, received an order from the business for another 16 hosts. That’s just virtual machine hosts, never mind virtual machines needed to keep up with the hundreds of terabytes of scientific information being moved from site to site. “It’s always a catch-up game as far as policies and procedures [for managing a virtual environment],” Pray said. “With virtualization, policies ...

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