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Toigo: The importance of automated provisioning for virtualization

Automated provisioning of resources is a requirement to get the most from virtualization, according to analyst Jon Toigo. But it's an area that hasn't yet seen widespread implementation among organizations.

"The bottom line is a whole lot of people don't have this on the radar, and a lot of people have it in plans in the future, but really haven't done anything with it yet," Toigo told the audience at a recent Storage Decisions event. "And with the exception of the virtual server group, no one has made any headway into actually virtualizing or abstracting anything. And before we begin automating … we have to abstract and pool."

Toigo is CEO and managing principal of analyst firm Toigo Partners International, as well as chairman and co-founder of the Data Management Institute.

Among those who have turned to automated server provisioning -- a group whom Toigo said is working to improve the way server resources are allocated. He said the goal is to have fewer steps involved in the process and that those resources are allocated much more rapidly.

"That's the scheme behind AWS or Google or one of the cloud services or even your own private cloud. The concept was you were going to be able to roll out services a lot faster; you'd be able to develop applications a lot more quickly because you can [allocate] resources," he said.

However, a significant hurdle that hasn't been addressed is automated provisioning of storage resources. Toigo said only a small fraction of professionals have gotten around to dealing with it. "That's probably the most important thing we should be focusing on right now, because it's a huge, huge iceberg problem that confronts virtualization … it's the storage that's in the way."

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