Who delivers best-of-breed virtualization? [Red Hat]

You depend on choice in your data center. It keeps your costs down, it keeps vendors competing for your business and it accelerates the development of technology. The thought of losing this diversity of options sends shivers down your spine. But until recently server virtualization might have felt like a one-vendor world.

Red Hat to the rescue.

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization offers a credible choice for virtualizing Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Microsoft Windows Server workloads.

Virtualization the open source way
Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization is more than just another choice for virtualization—it is a credible alternative in the virtualization world. The open source foundation of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization gives you visibility into the entire virtualization stack. The source code for Red Hat’s hypervisor technology is freely available to anyone.

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization is sold through the same business model as all Red Hat products, with a yearly subscription model. Red Hat works collaboratively with the open source community, and aggregates, tests, hardens, and certifies the code for its enterprise solution. A subscription includes more than just the right to run the software, it includes around-the-clock support, updates, bug fixes, manageability, a robust certified ecosystem, and long-term stability at an affordable price. This model means we have to prove the value of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization to our customers every day, or they choose not to renew. This gives customers more than just another choice. It gives them a seat at the development table and a chance to participate in their own success. [Read more…]

Unified Computing & Data Center Evolution [Cisco]

The history of enterprise computing has been marked by compromises between scale and simplicity. As systems increased in scale, they also increase in complexity. As the complexity increased, so did the expense of deployment and ongoing management.

What we see resulting is that organizations must continually increase resources to maintain a growing, complex, and inflexible infrastructure versus using them to rapidly and effectively respond to business needs.

IT organizations are seeking ways to change that – they need to decrease costs of ownership while increasing IT business value. As a result the data center is in the midst of a major transformation. Data Center Virtualization has created a market transition where IT organizations are trying to reduce costs and increase flexibility. However, too often we see inflexible existing hardware platforms so that data center administrators spend too much time on basic tasks instead of focusing on more strategic initiatives.

As a next-generation data center platform, Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS), can help unite computing, networking, storage access and virtualization into a cohesive solution. It integrates a low latency, lossless 10 Gb Ethernet unified fabric with enterprise-class, x86-architecture servers. What we see with this approach is that it decouples scale from complexity. Whether the system has 1 server or 320 servers with thousands of virtual machines, all resources participate in a unified management domain all of which is designed to: [Read more…]

Technologies that shouldn’t be overlooked during tough times [Oracle, Sophos]

Partner Panel Featuring Oracle & Sophos

Q: At a time when cost-management is the guiding principle, what should organizations consider when making the case for new IT investments?

Oracle: IT organizations cannot be viewed as a cost-center – a necessary evil to the organization. Instead IT should be positioned as a value-center to the overall business – a business enabler. If your IT investment reduces cost of the overall business, the question changes from “how much are you spending?” to “how much is this saving?” 74% of CFO’s admit that they get their cost cutting priorities wrong because they cut what’s easy to measure rather than where it is most needed. Helping your organization see an IT investment as driving down cost of business ensures your value to the budget.

Sophos: Up front purchase costs only represent a small fraction of the overall cost of a solution. Carefully consider not only the ongoing costs, but also infrastructure investment necessary, additional workforce required to administer the solution and whether your organization actually has the resources to execute the work needed to take advantage of the new investment. Another thing to look at is what additional mileage you can get out of your existing solutions – features and capabilities that will improve your security, enhance your productivity, etc.

Q: What solutions are having the biggest impact on helping businesses get through the current economic crisis?

Oracle: Actually the answer is deceptively simple: save by using what you own. Customers can use existing investments to reduce cost and maximize the utilization of current investments. Using software to help reduce cost is huge in helping efficiency in your data center. Automated Data Management solutions are key in saving organizations time and money, plus they leverage existing resources so they’re not cost prohibitive. Maximizing resources is all about doing more with less; storage and server consolidation are two examples. You can both save 50% of your hardware cycles and increase performance 10X by virtualizing your server environment using an Oracle grid architecture.

Sophos: Virtualization remains a popular way of reducing not only infrastructure costs but staff levels necessary to maintain physical servers – make sure your technology solutions support virtualization. Encryption is now seen as a critical investment, as the fines, recovery costs and bad will associated with data leakage are many multiples higher than the cost of investing in this technology. Secure web gateways are seen as having dual benefits – improved security through reduced web risks, and improved employee productivity through control of social networking and other sites.

Q: ROI is key to building the business case. How have the expectations changed in terms of the payback period? How have your solutions evolved to reflect this focus?

Oracle: We’ve seen tremendous changes in how customers view IT investment. Finite ROIs are required and now measured in months. Capital budgets are reviewed quarterly. A “product” takes the back seat to the delivery of cost-savings. Because of this shift, customers have looked to Oracle to help deliver. Our customers are saving: 50% of server costs; 70% of storage costs; 35% of DBA’s time; and 25% of application development time. Companies big and small have changed their expectations and are looking to their trusted partners to develop the business case to drive down business cost and maximize the return of IT.

Sophos: It is widely believed that you can’t measure the ROI of security, but instead measure TCO. Security is something you must have – chose a solution which is top-notch yet can be implemented and managed at low cost. Sophos has invested heavily in simplifying security interfaces that don’t require a four week course at Security University. A single agent technology reduces the load by providing more protection with less “fat.” A single management platform for multiple operating systems and security components reduces the infrastructure required. The drive to reduce complexity has helped Sophos grow significantly during a down economy.