The recent growth of virtualization in the Asia-Pacific region cannot be overlooked. Statistics show that end-users want to switch to virtualization within the next few quarters, and certainly within the
next 2-3 years, to a greater or lesser degree. Cost saving is one of the immediate advantages that is attracting CIOs and corporate managements to the idea of virtualization.
The benefits of server virtualization are not debatable. Indian businesses are definitely in agreement with this technology. Server virtualization comes as the most prominent server-related trend and key investment area for 2012. This is largely driven by server virtualization benefits like savings on space and power consumption.
Cost savings are clearly the driving factor for adoption of server virtualization solutions in India. Interestingly, Indian businesses are also testing server virtualization for disaster recovery (DR) or high-availability scenarios. The cost benefits and ease of management when implementing DR on virtual server infrastructure is a key consideration driving this trend.
Since a single physical server can accommodate multiple virtual servers, most Indian organizations are enticed by the huge savings in terms of space and hardware. Adding to these benefits is the automatic reduction in power required to cool these servers. As a result, savings on power utility bills is one of the top factors driving virtualization, considering the dearth of power in most parts of India.
However, Indian businesses are still testing the waters, since mission critical applications (such as ERP) are not being deployed on virtual servers. Organizations prefer to assess the performance of non-mission critical applications on virtual servers before running mission critical apps on such infrastructure. Indian organizations determine the hardware platform for server virtualization using various parameters. Long term growth and hardware scalability should clearly take priority in such assessments.
The growth of desktop virtualization is going to get noticeable in the next 3-4 years. There are a number of reasons to substantiate this trend. The first is, of course, the overall level of confidence in virtualization, coupled with the desire on the part of customers to reduce operating costs. However, it should be noted that desktop virtualization is more complicated to implement than server virtualization. In many aspects of virtualization, personal systems are much more complex than servers. And it is seen that the issue of desktop virtualization involves several different (often overlapping) organizational and technical areas.
From Virtualization to the Cloud
More often than not when we speak about virtualization or cloud computing, we seem to be of the opinion that these two technologies are complimentary in nature. This statement does hold true in many cases, but is not necessarily true in all. But one thing is certain; together these two have the potential to redesign the landscape of the datacenter. The concept of cloud computing and how virtualization enables it offers so many innovative opportunities that it is not surprising that there are new announcements every day from solution providers. This innovation trend will continue and we expect massive value to be created for customers over the coming years.
Storage Trends for 2012
A mix of natural disasters, political upheaval and financial crises in 2011 has prompted companies to plan for 2012 against a backdrop of economic turmoil and great uncertainty.
However, in certain areas of business, there are still some absolute certainties. One such area is that of data storage and storage infrastructure, for which demand will undoubtedly intensify in the year ahead, continuing the trend in recent years of exponential growth.
1) Storage efficiency: There will be a greater focus on storage efficiency technologies such as storage virtualization, dynamic or thin provisioning.
2) Consolidation to convergence: Consolidation will give way to convergence. Over the past few years IT has focused on consolidation and much of the low-hanging fruit has now been consolidated. In order to gain further cost savings, the focus will be on convergence of server, storage, networks, and applications.
3) Big Data: The explosion of unstructured data and mobile applications will generate a huge opportunity for the creation of business value, competitive advantage, and decision support if this data can be managed and accessed efficiently.
4) Storage scaling: Server and desktop virtualization will increase the need for enterprises to scale up storage systems, non-disruptively as physical server demands increase.