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Home is Best

Virtual server technology makes it easy for enterprise companies to set up and tear down test environments in
which they can ensure applications will run up to par on production servers and client machines — yet the
environments need to be managed or they can run amuck.
Virtual server technologies used in preproduction environments promise cost, time and labor savings, yet the
same tools left unchecked can result in complex configurations, wasted resources and management nightmares
for IT staff.
Virtualization removes the physical server constraints of test environments and enables sharing of resources
among IT staff to make test work easier, but its use needs to be carefully controlled, industry analysts and IT
professionals say.
“One of the pitfalls of using virtualization in test environments is the proliferation of images, especially when
testing multiple configurations across different operating systems,” says Carey Schwaber, a senior analyst at
Forrester Research. “There has to be a real effort around controlling this environment with policies to prevent the
environment from growing too much or becoming unused resources.”

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