Virtualization explains what happens when a virtual version of technology exists as opposed to a physical version. That could include examples such as an operating system, hardware platform or storage device.
Looking ahead to 2014, virtualization is an increasing trend. One of the reasons why this is taking place is because virtualization leads to lower energy costs. It is a “green” form of IT, because it requires less in the way of hardware and energy. Manufacturers are moving to more “green” IT and virtualization as well. In fact, 93 percent of manufacturers are already using green technologies, according to a survey from Kable Market Research.
Virtualization saves space in a data center and is more flexible than alternatives. In fact, somewhere between 50 and 60 percent of servers are virtualized, according to the Kable survey of some 166 manufacturers about their Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
Virtualization also provides improved encryption options. Encryption can take place in a virtual machine level or at a guest level in the cloud, which is important when security is a top priority for technology. There is also an option for file virtualization, and disaster recovery and continuity improves with virtualization.
With virtualization, there are more options to move to the cloud. In fact, the survey suggests the use of cloud computing will increase in 2014 and 2015 among manufacturers. The cloud gives manufacturers lower costs, easier management and more scalability, the survey said. Even though the hybrid cloud is less in use now than other options, the demand could increase. Some pros predict that private clouds will be seen more among small- and medium-sized businesses – not just large businesses. There also could be more virtualization for high-performance computing next year, especially with private clouds.
Security is another concern. Manufacturers are concerned about improving security and privacy in light of more cyber-attacks and malware, according to the survey. Manufacturers are also spending money on identity and access management (IAM) solutions. Also, the survey reveals that 89 percent of manufacturers use business intelligence (BI) tools, and 83 percent will likely use them in the next two years. They improve efficiency and find new opportunities for revenues. There is also more use of bring your own device (BYOD) to the workplace, which relates to smartphones and tablets.
E-mail archives are important, too, the survey said, with penetration of 74 percent in the manufacturing sector, and virtualization also helps with enterprise applications, mobility, communications and collaboration.
Edited by Cassandra Tucker