Taking the Next Steps with Virtualization

Whether your organization is new to virtualization or you’ve been deploying it for years, the reality is that virtualization is a technology that should be a strategic part of your business, now and in the future. What are the use cases driving virtualization’s growth, and what are the important considerations – including hardware and software platforms – that will help you make the most successful choices moving forward? This paper addresses these critical issues, emphasizing opportunities in environments using Microsoft® Hyper-V® Server 2008.

Virtualization has become mainstream. More than 90 percent of midsize and large businesses have implemented virtualization at some level, according to research conducted by CDW in 2010. However, while many organizations have implemented virtualization, there is still tremendous room for growth. In the CDW survey, respondents said roughly a third of their total server infrastructure consisted of virtualized servers. Virtualization deployment will continue to grow dramatically, fueled by a variety of factors, including continued use of virtualization to support consolidation efforts; growth of virtualization use in mission-critical applications and workloads; growth in virtualization among small and midsize organizations; successful deployment of virtualization as a strategic initiative to enhance business agility; and virtualization as the foundation for next-generation cloud computing services. IDC has predicted that the compound rate of growth in servers for virtualization will be more than double the growth of the overall server market through 2014.

Virtualization is not only here to stay, but it will continue to be one of the most critical initiatives for IT organizations in businesses of all sizes. As IT decision-makers go through the process of determining how virtualization can be deployed more thoroughly and strategically within their organizations, these are some of the key points they will need to address:

  1. What are your ultimate goals with virtualization? Are you content with some of the traditional benefits of virtualization, such as consolidation, or is your “head in the cloud?”
  2. Which workloads and applications will you be virtualizing, and why?
  3. Is your organization ready to virtualize mission-critical applications?
  4. Which virtualization software platform(s) are you considering or using?
  5. Have you thought about your virtualization platform from a strategic perspective – in other words, have you considered how virtualization ties into your existing server environment today and how it will tie into your possible transition to the cloud in the future?
  6. Which hardware solutions and platforms will deliver the best performance, scalability, ROI and the overall best chance of a successful deployment?

Wherever you are now, and whatever your rationale is for moving forward with virtualization, choosing the right virtualization platforms – hardware and software – will be among the most critical decisions you will be making to secure your IT infrastructure investment for the future. The reality is that businesses of all shapes and sizes are looking at the benefits that can be delivered by virtualization, including the benefits of cloud computing which can enable increased agility, continuity, scalability and performance, while continuing to keep costs under control.
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