7 half-truths about virtualization

is revolutionizing the data center, mostly for the better. But no technology is without potential pitfalls. Problems related to management, security, ROI and power use can all trip up a virtualization deployment that isn't planned properly.

"Virtualization has the potential to deliver immense cost savings and technical benefits," through the consolidation of servers and reduction of space and power needs, notes Laura DiDio, lead analyst with Information Technology Intelligence. "However, these savings don't automatically happen."

Her are seven -- oh, let's call them half-truths -- to fully consider before your virtualization project is implemented.

1. Virtualization will make my life easier

Virtualizing servers will greatly reduce the time it takes to spin up new workloads. Some IT shops have reported being able to deploy new virtual machines (VM) in as little as 30 minutes, as opposed weeks for their physical counterparts. The promise that virtualization simplifies IT is real in many respects.

But virtualization simultaneously introduces management challenges that can't be ignored. IT shops need strict policies and perhaps third-party automation tools to prevent virtual server the unchecked spread of VMs. Even if you end up with fewer physical servers, Burton Group analyst Chris Wolf says the overall number of managed objects can increase, because of the hypervisors and sheer number of VMs.