Even huge, traditionally slow-to-change enterprises, such as those in the airline industry, are finding that consolidating their server assets enables them to move on to other developments, such as desktop virtualization, to realize further benefits. Continental's Anderson-Lehman says he hopes his team's efforts--which he says have been saving the airline $1.5 million annually in hardware, software, labor, implementation and operational costs--are enough to convince a merged United-Continental organization to take that success to the next level.
"The next logical step is to let someone else do the virtualization for me, and then I can move my systems into their virtual space," says Anderson-Lehman. "That's the logical evolution toward cloud computing."
The long-term potential of virtualization speaks to an issue that transcends server spread, budget concerns and any other barriers that might get in the way of a virtualization investment: The exponential growth of data is causing IT environments to burst at the seams. Says Storage and ServerIO Group's Schulz: "There is no such thing as a data recession."