Editor’s note: our virtualization expert Stephen Akuffo weighs in on the Virtual Space Race Study blog series – see his notes below.
Do you remember the days of dial up – when you had the patience to wait minutes for the information you wanted? Fast forward 20 years. We now live in an era that demands immediate results, requiring much more agility from our IT infrastructure. This progression has forced us to streamline processes and leverage systems in ways that were unheard of years ago.
The perfect example of this evolution is virtualization. Virtualization enables automation, since provisioning, de-provisioning, and other common tasks can be performed with simple mouse clicks, rather than requiring the physical installation and removal of hardware in the data center. Virtualization by itself, however, does not deliver a best-in-class infrastructure. You have to develop processes to fully take advantage of these capabilities including:
- Automation – Defining policies to streamline how you want your infrastructure to support the applications in your data center.
- Connectivity – Link your infrastructure to your Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) or your Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and manage it as a whole, giving you flexibility to deploy your applications on-prem or in the cloud as your requirements evolve.
Special commentary from Softchoice virtualization expert Stephen Akuffo
Virtualization is a bit of a holy grail technology. It is one of those rare innovations that completely changed the face of IT. Productivity went through the roof as the number of servers each admin could handle comfortably grew substantially. Virtualization is not, however, the end of the story. Being able to manage more servers than before and only taking a few minutes to create new virtual machines to host your applications on does not fully translate to IT being able to execute faster. While it may take a day for the virtualization admin to create a VM, it could take a week or more to tie that VM into the network fabric. This is because the network administrators have to make sure the network stays rock solid. If additional storage needs to be provided for the new workload, be prepared for a wait as the SLA for the workload and its performance requirements are measured out. This lack of agility often leads to the lines of business going around IT, and renting a VM from someone else’s cloud or using a SaaS application (which IT has no ability to control). The modern data center is about removing these road blocks, putting the technologies in place to take care of all the backend plumbing IT has to contend with, and simplifying IT. Imagine if it only took the click of a few buttons to end up with a VM that is provisioned, complete with network and storage, without the intervention of every department! In addition, imagine being able to connect to, manage and consume the utilization of public and hybrid clouds from within IT. That is the vision of the modern data center and the modern IT manager – one that is worried about executing new strategic initiatives rather than upkeep, which is where most of IT’s time is spent today.
Benefits of an Agile Environment
We recently surveyed 1,000 IT and line-of-business managers to gauge their expectations around IT department performance and infrastructure agility. The study revealed staggering statistics on what having a fully integrated data center can mean for your organization.
Compared to those that don’t, IT managers with the “right” infrastructure are:
- 4X more likely to deploy a new app within 5 days
- 2X more likely to move processing workloads across servers the same day
- 3X more likely to accommodate front office requests the same week
Transform Your Organization
Stop spending the bulk of your time on maintenance and fielding help desk calls. Think bigger than simply automating policies and tasks. A fully-integrated data center can benefit your entire company — from front office employees, to IT departments and support staff. Are you ready to start the revolution?
For additional tips on creating an agile, cost efficient and virtualized infrastructure, visit our study The Virtual Space Race: How IT with ‘The Right Stuff’ creates a competitive advantage.