As we all know, data virtualization is a layered approach to manage huge data volumes from disparate sources (databases, systems and storage), through a single virtual view from within a front-end system, such as applications, or dashboards. Therefore, whether it is sales force automation (SFA), a customer relationship management (CRM), an enterprise resource planning (ERP) or business intelligence, data virtualization is associated with business or enterprise applications.
Overall, data center solutions accelerate service delivery, improve profitability, and reduce risk for new business developments by detaching workloads and data from the functional side of physical infrastructure. Basically, it is driving efficiency from many angles, including data center design, platform updates, application and infrastructure modernization, as well as traditional and new delivery models, such as infrastructure utility and cloud computing. To be more specific, the benefits can be identified from all three forms of virtualization: server virtualization, desktop virtualization and virtualized appliances.
For the networking and storage virtualization perspective, which can be defined as consolidating data and files to a centralized location, I think the main advantages that businesses benefit from are:
- Easy access to data. Professionals have extensive mobility in their activity. They don’t need to travel with many equipments and can access important files without much hassle.
- Share applications instances between multiple organizations. With data being gathered and available from a central environment, better collaboration between employees, clients and stakeholders is made possible.
- Reduced costs. By eliminating the licensing for software, the costs associated with data backups and IT specialists’ expenses, the reductions in IT overhead is also possible.
- Operational system efficiency and simplified management due to better use of infrastructure. The employees are no longer restricted to work from their desktops, they can work from any place that has an Internet connection and any web enabled device improving productivity and efficiency levels.
It’s pretty clear that data center virtualization is becoming the standard for how IT resources will be designed in the future and, as the 2010 Garner study concluded, virtualization will transform data protection strategies. I also embrace Philip Dawson’s opinion, research vice president at Gartner, which said that “Virtualization will continue as the highest-impact issue challenging infrastructure and operations through 2015, changing how you manage, how and what you buy, how you deploy, how you plan and how you charge.”
Therefore, I believe that although it may require significant investment in additional hardware and software, the IT companies will need to develop a new perspective on managing their virtual investments. They will have to be open to learn best practices on how to combine external cloud services with their own environments securely and transparently, from cloud providers and technology innovators.
Photo source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1390009.