Virtualisation gives decision makers choice, control

By Robert Sussman, joint CEO, the Integr8 Group

Cloud virtualisation or the environment through which all areas of the business can be controlled off-site or "virtually? presents decision makers with an interesting scenario: today they have more choice about how to manage and sustain the business using strategically-placed ICT infrastructure without breaking the bank.

There are many areas where virtualisation impacts the business. We know that a range of hardware, software and other network infrastructure can be managed this way, used and applied throughout the network without owners having to worry about maintenance and sustainability.

Server virtualisation is a good example. It is based on simulation technology and the creation of more "virtual? servers than there are physical ones.

Administration and practical application of this infrastructure takes place in a non-physical way. There are many products that can form part of the virtual environment including servers, platforms, application, desktop and network.

Being able to focus on business strategy without being distracted or side-tracked by infrastructure management issues such as Total Cost of Ownership and Return on Investment, remains a key advantage in today?s marketplace.

A virtualised environment means more productivity and more time to focus on strategic core areas. This is because virtualisation is based on the centralisation of resources, which eliminates the need to add more software and organise additional resources to run operations. It is a more streamlined approach to business management.

There is less usage of space and of physical infrastructure, flexibility and scalability are also advantages.

Physical resources are spread across the business, to all departments, via virtual networks which improves access and efficiency.

With the rapid advancement of cloud computing and parallels to virtualisation, it is easy to understand why cloud virtualisation and cloud computing are mistakenly referred to as one in the same. The reality is that these are two very different technologies and have different dynamics - however both are focused on helping the decision maker gain more by using less.

But with cloud computing, the data resource and process resides in the cloud - based on a Software as a Service model.

The extent to which these technologies are acquired and implemented in business may vary and depends on a variety of factors. This is up to decision makers to understand and apply policy.

What is also true, however, is that these technologies must be part of any credible operational strategy - this is critical for survival.