With cutting costs and saving jobs high on the global business agenda, too many APAC organizations are missing out on leveraging a technology that is available and that will help them drive capital and operational efficiencies in their data centers. Research firm Gartner identifies virtualization at the top of the list of strategic technologies in 2009 with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise.
While underutilizing the corporate jet in tough times might be the right thing to do, underutilizing corporate IT assets is entirely the opposite. Most data centers continue to use less than 20 percent of server capacity. At the same time, less than one percent of desktops have been virtualized. With virtualization, server utilization rates alone can rise as much as 80 per cent. This points to substantial unrealized savings that APAC organizations are failing to make.
Data centers today can take advantage of open source virtualization that is integrated in the Linux operating system and delivers a slew of capabilities, which can be delivered to the CIO in a cost-effective manner.
Virtualization that is integrated in the operating system enables the same physical hardware to be used to host both the operating system as well as virtual machines, dramatically improving efficiency in the data center without compromising the performance of the bare metal applications.
Enterprises want virtualization solutions that are easy to deploy and manage. Open Source virtualization preserves existing IT investments without the need for new expenditure in hardware or software while enabling all applications, even the most mission-critical, to be virtualized. With the virtualization technology built into the Linux kernel, Open Source virtualization gives the CIO the choice to take advantage of virtualization capabilities whenever he wants to. There is no “rip and replace” of any IT systems.
What typically happens in data centers today that have adopted virtualization is that core enterprise applications and workloads are not being virtualized, resulting in silos of virtualized and nonvirtualized servers and operational inefficiency. Hence, while the adoption of virtualization technologies is gaining ground and delivering high returns on investment to users, industry research still indicates that many enterprises have yet to deploy virtualization in enterprise and missioncritical environments.
In evaluating its virtualization solution, enterprises should be looking for a comprehensive portfolio of server, client and management products that allows the entire spectrum of enterprise workloads to run on one common infrastructure that is manageable and secure. The solution would encompass several points.
The first would be a virtualization management solution for servers that allows fully integrated management across virtual servers and virtual desktops offering live migration, high availability, system scheduling, power management, image management, snapshots, thin provisioning, monitoring and reporting. The management solution for servers should be able to manage both hosts, as well as the hypervisor.
The second would be a management system for virtual desktops that will deliver industry-leading VDI cost-performance for both Linux and Windows desktops. The solution should also be able to centralize management, security and policy enforcement of all desktops.
The third would be a hypervisor that is able to continuously keep up with the latest innovations in hardware and enable enterprises to have a standard, lightweight, high-performance virtualization foundation for guest environments.
In addition, enterprises need to think of the longer term, and implement virtualization with a view to laying the foundation of a flexible cloud computing environment that will enable them to deploy any application, anywhere, at anytime. That limits the choice of virtualization technology to a solution that is capable of outstanding performance, scalability and agility inherent in open virtualization.