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Isn’t It Time You Hopped on the Virtualization Bandwagon? – UPDATED

From the experts | Posted on May 23, 2014 by Joel Hoidas

Editor’s note: our virtualization expert Stephen Akuffo weighs in on the Virtual Space Race Study blog series – see his notes below.

You’ve probably researched how virtualization will simplify your IT infrastructure and allow you to do more with less. The benefits of virtualization seem almost too good to pass up: lower costs, less complexity and faster maintenance. Yet, we were surprised to learn that 61% of organizations still virtualize less than half of their IT environments and 46% of organizations still have no hybrid cloud capabilities. So, why hasn’t everyone hopped on the virtualization bandwagon?

The major hesitations regarding virtualization include migration concerns, costs and the necessity of this solution within smaller organizations. This post discredits these myths while also providing you with valuable tips for correctly assessing your virtualization needs – regardless of whether you’re an enterprise-sized Fortune 100 company or you have two physical servers with a handful of virtual machines.

Make Virtualization a Priority at Your Organization

By pooling resources into a virtualized environment, your applications and servers can run at optimal speeds. Consider the effects of reducing hardware count and overhead costs while dramatically improving application performance. The more applications you have virtualized, the further you can utilize automation and policy-based management.

Special commentary from Softchoice virtualization expert Stephen Akuffo

Several private cloud projects have been stopped dead in their tracks due to an aging and unyielding network, which simply does not allow for the automation that modern data centers require. Assessments and deep discovery are not an ‘additional step,’ but a mandatory component of proper solution sizing. They’re the only way businesses can be sure they’re allocating IT budget where it’s required to achieve business outcomes, rather than funneling money into a legacy data center that fails to transform IT from a cost center to a business driver. Many an IT director or manager has signed off on an additional server or software purchase knowing they likely could have avoided the purchase, if only they had better visibility into resource waste in their environment. Using industry standards (while a decent tool for the initial scoping and conceptualization phase of a project) often fails to meet the actual environment requirements, such as under-sizing or over-sizing the environment. Not investing enough, or simply throwing money at the problem and hoping to avoid issues, should not be used in place of discovering exactly where a reduction or addition of funds would truly benefit the organization. Guessing is never a solution. A huge part of having the right data center is knowing what your environment has today and what you can continue to leverage (both hardware and software). Once you know what your gaps are, all you need to do to is plan to fill them and evolve your environment into a modern data center. It all starts with assessments. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Stephen directly or leave a comment below!

Determining Your Virtualization Needs

Organizations that bring the right data, tools, processes and people to the table are more likely to make the best business decisions. The following assessment options will allow you to look at the big picture in determining which virtualization solution makes sense for your organization:

Network Discovery Assessment
Do you know the status of your network assets? Search for an end-to-end solution that provides you with practical, actionable insights into the most complicated networking challenges. This data can greatly improve business up-time and help you anticipate issues long before they occur.

Storage Assessment
Are you spending more money than you have to? Analyze your storage at the physical host level, or analyze storage requirements from the vantage of your respective business’ services performance, capacity and redundancy requirements. By performing one of these assessments, you’ll receive a fact-based portrait of your current state.

Server Virtualization Assessment
Are you ready to transform your infrastructure? A virtualization assessment analyzes your physical server environment, collecting and analyzing server utilization metrics and modeling the physical infrastructure onto a projected virtual environment. This information will help you plot the way forward.

Desktop Virtualization Viability Assessment
Unsure how to energize your infrastructure? Desktop virtualization enables new levels of IT security, ease-of-management and cost savings – but, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Specific user groups within your organization have unique requirements, each demanding their own approach and treatment. Search for an assessment option that offers an in-depth view of your diverse user-groups. It will help you chart out the best course of action.

Learn More

For additional tips on creating an agile, cost efficient and virtualized infrastructure, visit Softchoice’s study entitled, “The Virtual Space Race: How IT with ‘The Right Stuff’ creates a competitive advantage.

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