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What’s all the hype with virtualisation?

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When it comes to building the most effective, cost-efficient IT solutions for a business, technology pros and business directors often find themselves in conflict because of differing priorities. For the IT team, their primary concerns will include ensuring the security of their data and maintaining continuity. But for business leaders, cutting costs and increasing efficiency is a greater concern.

This often leads to differences of opinion when it comes to Cloud technology. In my experience, executives tend to be very enthusiastic about the prospect of moving all or part of their IT environment to the Cloud. They love the idea of reducing licence fees while still having access to all the latest features. Tech people, on the other hand, tend to be wary of anything that reduces their level of control over their IT environment.

So how can this be resolved? One answer to this conundrum is “virtualisation”, which is increasingly being hyped as an answer to a range of common IT issues.

Tackling key IT issues

A recent report from Aberdeen Group highlighted some of the key IT issues facing businesses, and how virtualisation could help. It noted that the main challenges for businesses include ageing infrastructure (cited by 43% of firms), diverse requirements (32%) and high expenses (27%).

The report noted virtualisation can help companies boost their infrastructure performance, increase user satisfaction, and reduce costs. At a time when users expect high-speed access to information whenever and wherever they are.

Virtualisation vs the cloud

However, there may still be a lot of confusion about exactly what virtualisation is and how it differs from the Cloud. While the technologies share some similarities, they aren’t interchangeable.

Essentially, virtualisation refers to software that allows businesses to separate physical infrastructure into various dedicated resources. This may mean, for example, a single server can run multiple operating systems and applications at the same time – thereby saving money and increasing the efficiency of existing hardware.

While this is a key component of Cloud, a public Cloud deployment involves the delivery of services – such as software – via the internet. Virtualisation, on the other hand, does not need this, as it can all be set up on a firm’s premises, and can often be better tailored to a company’s unique needs.

Addressing the concerns

This can provide an answer to one of the biggest worries IT pros will have about migrating services away from traditional solutions. Virtualisation allow them to take advantage of the cost and efficiency benefits that are available, while still maintaining control of their environment.

Ultimately, each organisation will have to make its own decision on what the best route for them is, whether it’s virtualisation, private or public Cloud. Assessments need to consider not only the costs, but the ease of deployment, the impact it will have on existing operations and what data protection steps need to be taken.

 

By Craig Roshier

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