Virtual solutions for real problems: everything in the cloud?
If we were to believe the hype we would conclude that "the cloud" is the solution to all ICT problems. This is ridiculous, of course, but there are many areas in which virtualisation offers real and significant benefits. The key is to understand where (and where not) to apply which virtualisation techniques.
Virtualisation is the insertion of an abstraction layer between the physical components and the services which they support. Processor, memory, storage and network can all be virtualised. This allows more flexibility, efficiency and effectiveness in their use. From here we can then design new and better solutions to the real problems in the organisation.
INISI begins by taking stock of the current situation; where are there bottlenecks and which types of virtualization could offer a solution? What are the problems experienced by users, systems administrators and management? Are there new requirements which existing systems cannot fulfill? Are there new developments to be expected in the business? When this is clear we decide on a direction and design a fitting solution.
This is perhaps the oldest form of virtualization. It has its beginnings in mainframe systems but these days the term is usually applied to the consolidation of Intel servers to improve their utilization.
Current virtualization platforms offer more benefits. The virtual server infrastructure is extremely flexible offering possibilities for quicker roll out of new services, higher performance guarantees from dynamic load balancing, higher system availability and even disaster recovery scenarios. Server virtualization also offers reductions in the numbers of servers required to support a given workload and therefore similar reductions in power consumption, cooling and floor space.
Many applications work better when virtualized, offering higher performance and better availability for the end user while requiring less effort from system administrators. For many applications the server-based approach of Citrix or Microsoft Terminal Services is ideal. In many situations a thin client will suffice as user device, this reduces both the procurement and management costs when compared with a PC. However, not all applications are suited to this way of working; in these cases application streaming or encapsulation may offer the solution. These techniques can be combined as part of a total solution.
The hardware manufacturers offer blade PC’s as a way of providing large numbers of PC’s in a central location and with a relatively small foot print. Each blade is a dedicated system available (albeit temporarily) to a single user. It is but a small step to realize that “server” virtualization can also be applied here to offer a similar service – a single server can support tens of virtual PC’s simultaneously. The user has full access to their own PC but without the management headaches associated with hundreds of PC’s, possibly distributed over multiple sites. Applications are then installed in the virtual desktop or made available using application virtualization.
INISI helps you realize your objectives
A typical solution that INISI provides, consists of a mixture of the different forms of virtualization. In these situations it is important to work with a partner who not only has the necessary knowledge and experience but also one who keeps your company objectives in mind.