Skills shortage holding back virtualisation adoption

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Skills shortage holding back virtualisation adoption

Paul Kunert

A shortage of in-house skills and overcoming licensing issues are the main reasons why some customers are not deploying virtualisation more quickly but resellers can play a pivotal role in overcoming both issues, said IDC.

Putting this into perspective, sales of virtualisation are growing at over 50 per cent a year, yet a survey by the analyst has found that the speed of adoption weighed down by the two issues.

"Companies are talking about skills shortages holding back implementations of virtualisation," said Chris Ingle, consultancy and research director for systems at IDC

"But there is a real opportunity for the channel to develop skills and services around virtualisation and capacity planning. There are even fewer skills around virtualisation of client [environments]," he added.

Firms also spelt out a problem paying for software in a virtualised, multi core environment with some application license vendors charging per CPU and other opting to license per server.

"Most large applications vendors have reasonable programme in place but some smaller ones have struggled with how to charge for licenses in a company that has deployed virtualisation," said Ingle.

The survey of 650 organisations in Europe found 23 per cent said application vendors were not "meeting their needs" and 33 per cent said it limited their use of virtualisation.

Lewis Gee, VMware vice president of northern Europe said massive growth in the market had the channel running to develop skills and this was compounded by greater interest in more complex virtualisation projects.

"The amount of training that we are doing is growing dramatically," said Gee

"Customers want more from their virtualisation strategy than just server consolidation, they want disaster recovery, high availability and back-up."

A prolonged gap in available skills could mean "more delays in terms of rolling out at the highest level of a virtualisation strategy" said Gee but he added it was ramping education programmes in the UK channel.

Peter Stroud, managing director at Panacea Services, agreed with the finding of the survey but suggested it was not a lack of technical skills in virtualisation that may slow the speed to adoption of the technology,

"There are lots of technical courses from VMware but the management which becomes vital after implementation is not catered for to the same degree," he said, warning some IT departments had the potential to "create a monster" if they were not careful.

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