June 13, 2011, 2:53 PM — The majority of both U.S. and global corporations are forging ahead with plans to virtualize their servers, applications, desktops and smartphones, and build cloud-computing infrastructures on top of all that virtual landscape, despite experience with both cloud and virtualization technology that has largely failed to meet their expectations.
Despite the failure of many virtualization and cloud-computing technologies to live up to even the jaded expectations of top IT executives and project managers, most companies are forging ahead with plans to virtualize their servers, applications and PCs, then build clouds on top of all that virtual infrastructure according to a survey released today by Symantec Corp.
Symantec's results are based on questions asked of more than 3,700 respondents in 35 countries – which makes it one of a comparatively small number of surveys done in the IT industry every year big enough to reach any level of statistical accuracy at all.
IT shows, to a certain way of looking at it, that the people making decisions about virtual technologies at major corporations are either unrealistic optimists, unbelievably forgiving of disappointment, or are idiots.
The study measured how well a technology performed by asking respondents to compare how well the technology performed after implementation with the performance goals they set before implementing it.
It asked respondents about the virtualization of servers, storage, desktops, storage-as-a-service, and hybrid or private clouds.
Performance of every one of them fell below expectations.
Virtual servers were the least disappointing, with real performance falling only 4 percent below pre-determined performance goals.
Private storage as a service was most disappointing – underperforming by 37 percent.
Storage virtualization underperformed by 33 percent.
Desktop virtualization technologies fell 26 percent below their performance goals.
Private and cloud computing performed 32 percent below par.
All of which, in a rational world in which hard cost/benefit calculations drive the decisions of decision-makers unswayed by hype and buschwa would normally mean at least three of the four entire categories of product technologies would drop off the IT budgets for next year.
Technology decisions aren't made that way, according to Gartner's Hype Cycle reports, which include points in the research-buy-implement-repair-discard cycle called the "Peak of Inflated Expectation" and the "Trough of Disillusionment."