BUILDING A BUSINESS CASE FOR VIRTUALIZATION

Transitioning from a traditional computing environment to one based on strategic use of virtualization is not free. New servers are usually required to support multiple VMs or to implement, manage, or monitor App-V rollouts. And let us not forget training for IT staff. So why should management shift dollars from other projects to fund virtualization? Virtualization provides a long list of benefits to the business, including:

» Consolidation of workload to fewer machines. Server consolidation is usually one of the first benefits listed when IT begins to discuss virtualization. Although a definite benefit, you will probably only virtualize a subset of your datacenter—for reasons which will become obvious—resulting in limited ROI.

» Optimized hardware use. Most servers are underutilized. Placing multiple VMs on expensive server hardware drives processor, memory, disk, and other resources closer to recommended utilization thresholds. For example, instead of an application server using only 5-10% of its processing capability, multiple application servers on the same platform can drive average processors up to 40% or 50%. This is much better use of invested hardware dollars.

» Running legacy applications on new hardware. Any organization which has been around a few years has old applications it can not live without. Rather, it has applications its users must have or civilization as we know it will collapse. As the software stands fast, and hardware and operating systems evolve, you might find it difficult or impossible to run legacy applications on replacement platforms. Server and client virtualization provide opportunities to continue to run older environments on hardware with which they are incompatible. This is possible due to the abstraction of operating environments from the underlying hardware components.

» Isolated operating environments. Have you ever needed to run two versions of an application at the same time on the same device? If so, isolated environments are a great way to facilitate this. Further, each operating environment can have its own registry entries, code libraries, etc. So application incompatibilities are rare. Finally, failures or corruption in one environment will not affect other applications or data. Isolated environment capabilities in App-V can sometimes be a bigger selling point than server consolidation.

» Running multiple operating systems simultaneously. You do not have to make the leap to Linux to have the need to run multiple server operating systems. Most organizations do not upgrade all servers to the latest version of Windows Server at the same time. So there are often various versions in the datacenter, running critical applications. Hyper-V partitioning allows you to consolidate servers running operating systems at various version or patch levels, without the risk of incompatibilities. If you are gradually introducing other operating systems into the datacenter, they can all happily coexist with current operating systems—in “sibling” partitions on the same hardware platform.

» Ease of software migration. Application streaming, coupled with isolated operating environments, makes end-user application deployment much easier. Using Hyper-V, new application rollouts or upgrades to existing applications are easy and centrally managed.

» Quick buildup and tear-down of test environments. Testing is a big part of any internal development process, but rapid test environment builds are difficult to achieve. With virtualization, engineers create virtual image files which are quickly deployed when relevant system testing is required. Image files are also a great way to refresh a test environment when changes do not quite work as expected.

We believe this list represents the major reasons why an organization would want to move to virtualization, except for one. The final reason, improved business continuity, is so important we decided to give it special attention.

Source of Information : Elsevier-Microsoft Virtualization Master Microsoft Server Desktop Application and Presentation

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