Alan Murphy, technical marketing manager at F5 Networks (, says:

We’ve surveyed our customers about virtualization and our non-customers on how they are adopting cloud solutions, which is the next step after virtualization, and we got back huge numbers from all our surveys in terms of how many are looking at clouds solutions, which ultimately means they are looking at virtualization. Adoption numbers are off the charts.

Both Microsoft and VMware offer free solutions that customers can use in small test environments to try to virtualize their applications and then manage them in a virtual network. Anyone can download these tools and be up and running in about 2 hours. The one thing that I would recommend no IT department do is run out and buy a huge virtual platform solution, virtualize all their applications and then flip the switch on a Sunday. Make sure you go through a measured migration where you test everything, so you feel comfortable with virtualization and virtual storage.

Plan, plan, plan. Come up with a great system to evaluate before rolling virtualization into production. Virtualization has changed drastically to what it was a year and a half ago to a whole new micro-data center. If you want to go completely virtual for cost savings and consolidation, figure out your plan to get form physical to virtual; if you want to keep a mix of physical and virtual and perhaps look at some cloud services, make sure you have a system in place that can manage all of your application traffic transparently and that your infrastructure is sound.