ROI Through Database Virtualization/Cloud Computing
Enterprises rely on CRM, SFA, SCM, ERP and numerous other IT applications to run their business. The “big data” wave has only increased demand for new and upgraded applications that can turn rapidly growing raw data in enterprises into business intelligence for better and faster business decisions. Enterprises that unleash this data potential while containing the associated costs stand to improve both profitability and competitiveness.
Advancements in network, storage, virtualization and chip set technology have enabled significant IT efficiency gains in recent years. However, as IT stacks and applications are redesigned to consume the gain in efficiency, the race to uncover and exploit the next efficiency gap begins. If application agility and cost control are central to business execution, the bottlenecks in the enterprise application lifecycle point to that next big gap.
According to the ESG Group, on the average, enterprises create up to 10 copies of each production database for development, support, user acceptance testing, training, reporting, staging and other purposes. These environments or stages of the application lifecycle are critical to ensuring a robust production deployment.
However, IT teams are crippled by the cost, complexity, and in-agility of having to maintain several physical production database copies. These database copies introduce massive storage overhead since IT teams want and need real production loads for testing and support.
Additionally, the operational effort to provision just one database copy for downstream use can take weeks of coordinated effort across network, system, database, and application teams. Even refreshing a copy with production data often takes several days.
Deploying databases on virtualized servers provides host level efficiencies but does not address the bigger data storage overhead or the operational bottlenecks at the database layer. Moreover, a lot of mission critical application databases still reside on legacy platforms that aren’t conducive to virtualization. Similarly, data de-duplication tools may partially mitigate the storage challenge, but their abstraction and lack of awareness of the database layer still leaves IT teams with huge operational inefficiencies.
Multiply these capital and operational costs by the total number of production application databases in any enterprise and it becomes clear that virtualization of the data tier with database awareness is the next frontier for 100x IT investment and productivity returns.
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