CIO Decisions

Multi-hypervisor environments: Worth the work?


Manage Learn to apply best practices and optimize your operations.

Your virtualization vendor strategy: Beware the pitfalls

An enterprise virtualization vendor strategy is loaded with complexity, ranging from hypervisors to tools that manage the entire virtualization stack.

Tina Torode, Editorial DirectorVendor lock-in is sometimes inevitable, as was the case when VMware emerged in the virtualization space as the de facto platform. These days, there are many virtualization options, from hypervisors to tools that manage the entire virtualization stack. But opting to take on another hypervisor is not an easy or even a recommended move unless absolutely necessary, as Features Writer Karen Goulart found out while interviewing IT executives and industry experts for her piece “ Multi-Hypervisor Environments: Worth the Work?” in this month’s CIO Decisions ezine.

Cost is one factor that will keep some enterprises from adopting another virtualization vendor; lack of skill sets is another. But Chris Wolf, an analyst at Gartner, really gets to the crux of the problem: “When you have fewer parts and fewer things you’re trying to orchestrate, it’s cheaper and it’s easier,” he said. “That’s indisputable, and beyond that, service providers have proven that’s the best model for scale and cost.”

Taking on multiple hypervisors to satisfy application demands and customer needs is not as grand  in scale as the transformation underway at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. CIO Brook Colangelo is moving the business to platform-agnostic digital content and away from  a business model  that emphasizes paper-based textbooks and academic materials.

“Our content needs to be where the people want it to be—that’s the power of this consumer economy. We’re going where our customers—students, parents and educators—want to see, review, touch and interact with our content, whether it’s in the home, in the classroom or on the move,” Colangelo told Senior News Writer Nicole Laskowski’s in the article “Agile by the Book.”

Colangelo recognizes that this process is a major undertaking, and the same could be said of’s new venture called Genealogy. The service launched in May 2012 to help subscribers discover their cultural roots by comparing their genome sequence against other sequences and genetic information to determine ethnicity and find potential matches.

So just how big is this project?

“We have to have massive storage technology to store 4 petabytes of content, and then it requires us to deploy massively parallel processing solutions to mine the data,” said Scott Sorensen, senior vice president of engineering at, in our story “Taking on New Life with Hadoop.”

That’s the big in big data. Virtualization poses some big challenges as well. Are you ready?

Please write to me at

Article 6 of 6

Dig Deeper on Enterprise systems management

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

Get More CIO Decisions

Access to all of our back issues View All