Are You Ready to Join the Revolution Against Outdated Data Centers? – UPDATED

Are You Ready to Join the Revolution Against Outdated Data Centers?

Editor’s note: our virtualization expert Stephen Akuffo weighs in on the Virtual Space Race Study blog series – see his notes below.

Do you remember the days of dial up – when you had the patience to wait minutes for the information you wanted? Fast forward 20 years. We now live in an era that demands immediate results, requiring much more agility from our IT infrastructure. This progression has forced us to streamline processes and leverage systems in ways that were unheard of years ago.

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Optimize the management of network resources

Containing virtual sprawl by optimizing management of network resources.

As environments being more and more virtualized, the cost of computing goes down, efficiency, uptime and productivity increase and application performance is optimized. But, as with any major technology shift or revolution such as this, there are bumps in the road. That’s certainly true in the evolving data center. More flexible and scalable environments are being formed, to be sure, but there are a ton of challenges – adequately managing network resources for systems that were supposed to make our lives easier, for instance.

Why did this become a challenge? While the number of physical servers and related parts were being reduced, a potential new enemy was created: sprawl in the number of virtual machines – potentially hundreds of thousands of them. And with that sprawl, increased time and difficulty in provisioning virtual storage pools and virtual network resources. 

If you’re a network engineer or data center manager, you need to make sure business-critical processes are working properly – after all, you don’t have a lot of time to spend cataloging everything on the network. It’s not uncommon for me these days to have a conversation with overworked IT folks asking how they’re managing IP addresses – something that would normally be static and, in the past, could be done manually in a notebook or spreadsheet but which today simply doesn’t scale in this new virtual frontier. What’s needed are provisioning tools that can [Read more…]

The 3 Challenges Of The New Desktop Environment

There’s a perfect storm out there and it’s causing a radical change to the desktop environment.

The proof is everywhere. Start with the prominent use of Windows XP, a 10-year- old operating system causing a mass migration to Windows 7. Next is a sea of aging client hardware, remnants of down-economy budget crises.

Combine these pressures with an onslaught of new tablet devices, exploding into the enterprise, and you have all the ingredients for a complete transformation in desktop delivery practices. “It’s truly a paradigm shift,” says Scott Harper, Softchoice’s Director of Business Development. “End users want to have full access to a customized desktop experience, for all business applications, on any device, anytime, anywhere.”

In the face of this evolution, IT leaders are dealing with a number of key considerations. We explore what Scott sees as the top three challenges of the new desktop environment. [Read more…]

Streamline Server Provisioning, Contain Costs

Seasoned IT professionals remember dreaming of the potential of a dynamic datacenter. Constrained by platforms that allowed little flexibility, IT managers were forced to forecast, provision and spend on a per-system basis, which inevitably meant that some systems would be taxed while others sat dark. Dynamic datacenter architectures were the stuff of reverie. Well, not any more.

Server and storage virtualization have made storage and computing power portable, eliminating platform constraints and increasing the speed and flexibility with which an infrastructure can be administered. Storage and computing power have become portable, making IT operational and financial efficiency the new norm.

It’s not hard to see how costs can escalate quickly in a static datacenter. You have to provision for peak utilization … and then some. It ultimately becomes necessary to conceive the inconceivable (in terms of surprise usage), not to mention spend for it. “Just in case” scenarios result in over-investment in IT equipment, pushing TCO higher and setting even harder to clear ROI hurdles.

A virtual infrastructure makes this over-commitment of capital unnecessary. Datacenter computing and storage resources can effectively be pooled, as virtualization makes cross-platform sharing possible. Instead of provisioning for an unanticipated spike in utilization for a particular system, you can take a holistic view of the datacenter and dynamically “borrow” resources from platforms with extra capacity. Every system, essentially, is available to help the others.

Take the guesswork – and unnecessary expense – out of your infrastructure. Virtualization puts you in control of your technology and your budget.