How Cloud and Virtualization Work to Empower the Business

By: Bill Kleyman| - Leave a comment

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The proliferation of cloud technologies is absolutely evident in today’s market. Organizations are seeing direct benefits behind a distributed, and robust, cloud ecosystem. Most of all – these organizations are finding amazing ways to leverage cloud services as direct competitive advantages.

“Over the past several years, the software industry has been shifting to a cloud-first (SaaS) development and deployment model. By 2018, most software vendors will have fully shifted to a SaaS/PaaS code base,” said Frank Gens, Senior Vice President & Chief Analyst at IDC. “This means that many enterprise software customers, as they reach their next major software upgrade decisions, will be offered SaaS as the preferred option. Put together, new solutions born on the cloud and traditional solutions migrating to the cloud will steadily pull more customers and their data to the cloud.”

IDC pointed out that worldwide spending on public cloud services will grow at a 19.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) — almost six times the rate of overall IT spending growth – from nearly $70 billion in 2015 to more than $141 billion in 2019. The new spending guide expands on IDC’s previous public cloud services forecasts by offering greater detail on industry and geographic spending levels.

Today, cloud and service providers are able to logically segment users on a single piece of hardware while still intelligently provisioning powerful resources to the end-user. When working with the cloud and virtualization, it’s important to know how these technologies are connected and where administrators can take advantage of some key efficiency points.

  • Understanding the hypervisor. There are different types of virtualization technologies. Part of the deployment process is to understand which type of virtualization platform an organization may need.
    • Type I hypervisors are the most common and are called bare-metal virtualization hypervisors. Solutions from VMware, Microsoft of Citrix may be the right fit.
    • Type II hypervisors are called hosted hypervisors and are usually deployed on top of an already running operating system host. This is great for testing and development.
    • Containers: Although there are some similarities around traditional virtualization – containers operate as micro-services capable of working on their own, outside of an operating system environment. Think of IIS running outside of a Windows OS. Although new – containers are making a big impact in how very specific virtual services are delivered.
  • Understanding the cloud model. Once the virtualization platform is chosen, the cloud model has to be developed. Generally, there are three models to choose from:
    • Public – This model is usually provided by a third-party. Solutions from Rackspace or Amazon allow organizations to provision resources in the cloud which doesn’t actually belong to the company. This allows for lower costs in deployment. The equipment is owned by the provider, while the workload is managed by the organization.
    • Private – Delivering desktops or applications over the WAN using services hosted in a private (owned) data center would be an example of a private cloud. By using a private connection and portal, associates of an organization are able to access data anytime and anywhere given an Internet connection.
    • Hybrid – This model would see both worlds combining to deliver a unified solutions platform. Where a part of the infrastructure is hosted internally, another part is delivered through a third-party provider.
  • Delivering a workload. When delivering a workload, it’s important to know what that payload will be. Lightweight applications may not require a lot of bandwidth. On the other hand heavier VDI-like initiatives will necessitate more infrastructure components. Planning and sizing around the workload delivery methodology will create a more robust and scalable environment.
  • How virtualization fuels the cloud. Cloud computing is all about shared resources built on top of an intelligent system. Virtualization is at the base of this foundation as the tool to distribute these shared resources to the workloads running on top. An efficient virtual environment will create an effective cloud platform.
  • Finding the cost savings. With cloud and virtualization, organizations are able to realize cost savings very quickly. Whether an entire development environment is offloaded into a public cloud environment, or a BYOD initiative creates a more productive workforce – the combination of these two technologies can truly help an organization scale their IT infrastructure.

Moving forward – cloud and virtualization will continue to positively impact organizations of all sizes, across all verticals. Most of all, cloud services will deliver even more value around IT and how it can impact the business process.

“Cloud services will remain the essential foundation of the IT industry’s 3rd Platform of innovation and growth. As the cloud market enters an ‘innovation stage’, there will be an explosion of new solutions and value creation on top of the cloud,” said Eileen Smith, Program Director, Customer Insights and Analysis. “Industry-specific applications will be a driving force as businesses look for solutions that can be easily configured to their unique business and vertical requirements. With the huge increase in the number and diversity of services available in the market, organizations across the industries will shift steadily toward cloud-first strategies to enable digital transformation.”

Working with a cloud model can add some great benefits to an organization. Consolidation efforts and a better function data center environment are all potential outcomes when working with both cloud computing and virtualization. One of the most critical design parts of this type of solution will be security. As a key planning point, it’s important to know where and how to utilize security policies and technologies which add benefit to a virtualized environment as well as cloud computing.

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About The Author

Bill Kleyman

CTO at MTM Technologies

Bill is an enthusiastic technologist with experience in datacenter design, management, and deployment. His architecture work includes large virtualization and cloud deployments as well as business network design and implementation. Bill enjoys writing, blogging, and educating colleagues around everything that is technology. During the day, Bill is the CTO at MTM Technologies, where he interacts with enterprise organizations and helps align IT strategies with direct business goals. Bill’s whitepapers, articles, video blogs and podcasts have been published and referenced on InformationWeek, NetworkComputing, TechTarget, DarkReading, Data Center Knowledge, CBS Interactive, Slashdot, and many others. Most recently, Bill was ranked #16 in the Onalytica study which reviewed the top 100 most influential individuals in the cloud landscape, globally.

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