Universities find the virtualization sweet spot

And while virtualizing computers and trimming budgets will bring a smile to the faces of deans and provosts, Herleman said, creating too many virtualized machines on a college campus can create a “sprawl” effect that makes it difficult for the college’s IT team to manage the growing number of computers, he agreed.

Herleman said sprawl is sometimes unavoidable. Some programs don’t operate easily on the same machine, forcing campus technology departments to approve another virtualized machine to keep programs away from each other on the same hard drive.

“You look at [virtualizing computers] and think, ‘Wow, it’s so easy to create these virtual machines and eliminate the need to buy a bunch of hardware,’” Herleman said. “Then you realize you have to deal with a whole new set of problems that come along with that. It can sometimes be worse than it was before you [virtualized machines].”

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