* This article originally ran on StateScoop on May 7, 2013.
Depending on which state CIO you ask (or even which time of day you ask him/her), consolidation is either the best or the worst thing that's ever happened to government IT.
On the one hand, those virtual machines are saving you thousands of dollars (maybe millions) in server costs, power, and space. On the other hand, virtualized machines are fueling the proliferation of unnecessary data storage (so-called “VM sprawl”), and those storage costs are biting into your savings.
As Linux Magazine’s Ken Hess puts it: “[Virtualization], a technology sold as ‘money saving,’ often has the opposite effect when left unchecked.”
To be fair, though, blaming virtualization for your unnecessary data storage is a little like blaming your credit card...