Recently, Cisco started saying that virtualization doesn’t actually save money due to increased management costs involved with running a virtual infrastructure. Sure, in the same glossy Cisco was selling its “unified computing” system and management tools, but it may have had a point. Sometimes it may seem like running a virtualized environment is more work.
It’s certainly different, which means there is a one-time learning curve. The ramp-up costs associated with learning management tools for a given virtualization environment are one-time costs, or sunk costs, that wouldn’t factor into the calculation of yearly IT management costs.
There are fundamental differences in the way virtualized servers are managed, however. If these differences, compared to running bare-metal servers, prove to add a substantial management overhead, there may be something to this notion. Let’s talk about four aspects of managing a virtual environment: deployment, managing changes, monitoring and tuning.