The paper asserts that, to overcome the many recurring challenges pertaining to data centers, there are considerable benefits that virtualization across servers, storage, networks, and desktops can deliver, especially for mid-sized businesses with heightened strategic priorities in innovation and revenue growth. For the organizations, a shift to virtualization increases capacity and improves effectiveness with greater speed, flexibility and reliability than is possible in non-virtualized environments, contends the research.
As described in the white paper, prior to server virtualization, a static relationship existed that tied a single instance of an operating system software and its collection of applications to a dedicated server. If the operating system and application workload demand was constant, utilization of the server could be maximized, resulting in minimal dormant or unused hardware resources. However, application usage is seldom constant, resulting in peaks and valleys during the day, within the workweek, seasonally, and unexpectedly. Consequently, average server utilization without virtualization is low and energy and cooling is wasted on servers that are "on" but are not actively serving a business need.
"Devising and following a server upgrade plan to support virtualization will not only stretch existing data center space further, but will also produce incremental gains in energy efficiency," says Frost & Sullivan's Stratecast vice president of research, Michael Suby.
Selecting a virtualization partner is equally important, notes the firm. For instance, the research suggests that IT managers should consider the partner's effectiveness in managing virtualization technologies while also integrating complementary technologies and extending them into other areas of business needs. The white paper addresses the criteria to consider in designing a virtualization strategy and in selecting a virtualization partner. IBM is identified as a compelling example of a virtualization provider with a broad portfolio of virtualization-enabling products, a "deep bench" in value-added resellers and local IT management partners, and broad experience.
On May 24, 2012 Frost & Sullivan will present a complimentary webinar discussing an overview of the white paper, entitled Virtualization for Midsize Businesses: Keep Your Foot on the Accelerator, and associated customer case studies.