One of the interesting sidelines of BT's Windows consolidation story was the way that Michael Crader of BT described the carrot and stick approach to gaining business support to virtualize servers.
The carrot is a backdrop of energy efficiency and corporate responsibility blended with advertised lower support costs for virtualized environments. For the footdraggers, managers can even throw in some extra memory and disk space, all virtual of course, and double dip from the pool of resources.
The stick is a mirror image, using the corporate green initiative as a lever (you must do this to be green) and the threat of higher support costs for non-virtualized environments (kind of the same way large systems vendors jack maintenance to sell more mips).
The real kicker was taking action with notification that on "XX date these physical servers will be virtualized. Please notify us if this date is not convenient and we'll choose another. Please be aware that this event will occur unless you notify us of an alternate date."
As the saying goes, no deal is worth doing if you're not willing to walk. When it comes to virtualization, gaining management support to pull these types of stunts should be compulsory, or don't sign up for the project.
Action Item: Organizations must be aware of and plan for the friction that will come about from initiating virtualization projects. 'You're not taking away MY server resources' will be the cry from the business. Use corporate green initiatives as a lever, turn support cost knobs and take a service supplier's mentality when negotiating with the business, meaning leverage critical mass to sweeten the pot where necessary.