This article originally appeared in the August 2010 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY
Information technology is making an inevitable shift toward newer computing models that will drastically change our traditional approach to developing, deploying and running enterprise applications. IT virtualization enables many of these newer concepts that promise better scalability, performance and reliability across the organization.
While IT virtualization offers a number of benefits in its own right, it is not a simple point-and-click process. For this reason, dealers and value-added resellers of IT and communications technologies should leverage data center virtualization services to guide customers through the challenges of implementation, improving network efficiency and maximizing savings.
IT organizations began considering virtualization strategies a few years ago to rectify challenges like server spending and energy consumption within the data center. With last year’s economic downturn, companies were motivated by the cost-saving benefits to migrate sooner than they had initially planned. For the most part, enterprises and SMBs alike first virtualize storage, servers and network capacity for the cost savings associated with network consolidation. Virtualization reduces server hardware, energy costs and possibly real estate space, offering a quicker ROI from capital investments. It also enhances disaster recovery, speeds server and storage provisioning, and helps the enterprise reduce its data center footprint.
Beyond the cost savings from consolidation, virtualization enables organizations to be more nimble. IT infrastructure evolves as business needs change. Over time, companies end up with a hodge-podge of incompatible, complex systems that hinder the organization’s ability to respond to new challenges. Because virtualization abstracts the boundaries of these physical resources, companies can build IT solutions that better facilitate – and optimize – management and operational processes. This results in faster response to changing business conditions within the company and the market and helps the business grow.
Virtualization ultimately prepares the enterprise for future technology trends. With the IT market moving toward software-based communications, virtualization enables concepts like software-as-a-service and cloud computing. These technologies are predicted to have an even greater impact on the enterprise, creating newer delivery models with fewer risks, reduced costs and shorter lead times to new services.
The virtualization process requires IT organizations to have the experience for analysis, requisition and optimization. For SMBs and other organizations that lack the internal resources and/or expertise, channel partners should recommend IT virtualization services to provide customers a greater depth of knowledge and expertise. IT vendors now offer a complete range of virtualization services to address a number of issues like performance, backup, application compatibility and licensing policies. Virtualization services improve execution and help IT organizations to:
· create a customized, methodical implementation strategy and roadmap designed to achieve strategic ends and ensure return on investment along the way;
· apply best practices to avoid costly mistakes once systems are in production
· support to ensure higher value return on capital investment; and
· leverage on-site knowledge transfer and customized documentation for continued efficiency.
Virtualization delivers significant cost efficiencies and agility to the enterprise. As IT infrastructure and operations evolve, virtualization also builds a solid foundation for future technology trends. To ensure that virtualization initiatives are a success, companies must consider the impact on performance, backup and applications. By recommending IT virtualization services, channel partners can help customers address unique challenges before they arise and drive enhanced ROI.
Jay Krauser is general manager and senior technology strategist for NEC (News - Alert) Corp. of America (www.necam.com).
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Edited by Stefania Viscusi