A North American perspective

By Jon Collins

In a nutshell:

Many organisations have adopted server virtualisation to support their infrastructure
consolidation activities, and are reaping the benefits. However, there is more to server
virtualisation than simply supporting the consolidation of workloads onto a reduced set of
hardware platforms. Is there life for virtualisation beyond server consolidation in North America,
and what challenges need to be overcome?

Key points:

By way of background, it is important to appreciate the way data centres function today.
Contrary to what some might think, most data centres are functioning reasonably well,
even if traditional challenges of funding and responsiveness remain prevalent.

Server consolidation through virtualisation is seen as one of the most important
initiatives in data centres today. Resulting virtualisation activity continues apace, with
activity in the Windows environment running ahead of Linux and other platforms.
However, activity may be slowing down in the future.

Workloads that are reported as being more of a target for virtualisation are application
servers, Web servers, departmental apps and Web apps, whereas commercial
applications and other workloads are of less interest.

Server virtualisation is seen as having a far greater impact on management, operations,
architecture and procurement by those with extensive experience, compared to those
starting down the track. The implication is that the actual level of impact is not being
taken into account in advance, and may come as a shock when the full impact is felt.

The bottom line is that organisations may find moving beyond consolidation-byvirtualisation
more of a challenge than predicted. To take server virtualisation seriously,
and therefore reap the benefits that result, needs a mindset that views virtualisation as
an integrated element of the dynamic data centre infrastructure, and not just as a
consolidation tool.




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