Virtualization Drives Higher IT Efficiency and Lower Maintenance
There is an ever increasing demand to boost IT efficiency and reduce costs which has led to much innovation in this field. Perhaps the single most important breakthrough in this regard has been the widespread availability and adoption of virtualization technology. Virtualization refers to the provision of IT resources – hardware platform, operating system, storage, networking etc. that are ‘virtual’ rather than actual physical devices. Instead of weeks, new virtual resources can be up and running within minutes resulting in huge savings in time. Further, these virtual resources enable huge savings in costs while simplifying IT operations and maintenance.
As the dependence of organizations on IT is increasing, the demands placed on the IT infrastructure is increasing. No longer can delays of weeks, and sometimes even months, be afforded and it is expected that IT operations be carried out with much more agility and flexibility. It is in such circumstances, that virtualization comes to the rescue to give IT infrastructure the much needed flexibility. Virtualization enables new IT resources to be created within the fraction of time it used to take previously. Similarly, resources which are not needed are released without any waste. This means that IT infrastructure can be changed quickly to accommodate needs as they arise. No longer is there a need to acquire new physical infrastructure with new requirements; virtualization enables existing infrastructure to be leveraged to create new resources. This translates to huge cost savings as well as increased IT efficiency.
Virtualization works by consolidating physical IT resources into a common pool on top of which new VMs are spun on demand. Hence, unused or underused IT infrastructure can be consolidated and their usage can be maximized. This not only enables IT efficiency to be increased manifolds but also results in energy efficient utilization of resources (which in turn contributes to further costs reduction). Because virtual resources are easier to manage than their physical counterparts, a virtualized IT infrastructure simplifies IT operations and contributes to reducing overall IT maintenance overhead.
Virtualization is the basis for a newer generation of technologies, collectively known under the umbrella term “cloud computing”. Cloud computing enables organizations to further reduce their IT maintenance overhead by having their IT resources delivered to them over a network (typically internet). Cloud has enabled organizations to reduce their upfront costs on IT infrastructure as well as enabled them to carry IT operations with increased flexibility and agility. Therefore, organizations which are already utilizing virtualization are more prepared to jump ahead and adopt cloud computing (and related technologies). It is expected that most IT infrastructure would be moved to cloud in the coming years so adopting virtualization today is a good way to future proof an organization’s IT investments.
By Ben Harrison