“One cannot resist an idea whose time has come.”
- Victor Hugo (1802-1885), legendary French poet and author.
“Virtual” has usually been a poor substitute for “real”, but virtualization in computing is set to turn this notion around. Applicable to hardware, software, memory, databases and networks, virtualization is truly an “idea whose time has come.” As one of the few companies to operate in all these spaces, Dell is uniquely positioned to help businesses benefit from this amazing technology paradigm. Cloud computing is one of the ways that virtualization can be implemented.
Again, while all businesses can benefit from virtualization, these benefits are more pronounced for Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) than larger enterprises. This is because large enterprises, because of their very structure, are large, slow-moving and resistant to change from legacy systems. SMBs, on the other hand, are always willing to take risks in order to reap disproportionate benefits. Also, SMBs are on tighter budgets and cannot often afford expensive legacy systems; for them, virtualization that converts Information Technology (IT) infrastructure from a capital asset to a utility is of far greater importance than to an enterprise.
So, what are these benefits of virtualization we have been speaking about? Here’s a roundup:
1. Cost savings – This is an obvious advantage of virtualization. Instead of expending money on IT resources that will be scarcely used, virtualization allows businesses to use only what they need, and pay for only what they use, thereby reducing both capital and operating expenditures.
2. Mobility – When business executives travel, they do not have to carry around their data with them; virtualization allows people on the road to access data (and process it) on the go from their mobile devices.
3. Scalability – With virtualization, ramping up (or winding down) operations is possible at the click of a button without requiring access to IT resources a business doesn’t have.
4. Disaster recovery – With legacy systems, your data is vulnerable to disasters, both natural and man-made, at its location. With virtualization, it is possible to have redundancies, thereby ensuring rapid recovery even if one location goes offline.
5. Resource optimization – Virtualization allows for optimum use of resources by consolidating and reallocating them based on utilization and capacity. In contrast, traditional IT paradigms are inflexible and cannot respond to changing demands, thereby creating inefficiencies.
6. Security – Virtualization allows for layered security where, for every category of threat, there is an effective control deployed to mitigate the threat. With legacy systems, security is unidirectional, and hence, incomplete.
7. Environment-friendliness – The optimum use of resources through virtualization equates lower energy consumption. This translates into environment-friendly businesses with smaller carbon footprints.
Thus, it is obvious that virtualization can lead to benefits for businesses in the real world. In the near future, virtualization will emerge as a differentiator for companies looking to steal a march over their competitors.
By Sourya Biswas