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Open source virtualisation

01 Dec 09

Open source is not for wimps. It has already penetrated the operating system and middleware layers of the IT infrastructure, and more recently, it has delivered compelling propositions for open virtualisation and cloud   computing.
Today, some of the most savvy technology users are embracing open source to meet their needs; from  developing solutions faster, to reducing costs, to conserving energy and reducing maintenance. In doing so,  they are applying open source in innovative ways to overcome data centre challenges, avoid vendor lock-in  and rediscover value.
But when it comes to virtualisation, businesses have been somewhat slow on the uptake. The experts tell us  that the minority, not the majority, of local organisations have adopted virtualisation and that’s often only in  non-mission critical areas, or in development and test environments.
The problem with this is that, particularly during times when cutting costs and saving jobs are high on the  agenda, too many organisations are missing out on leveraging a technology that will help them drive capital and  operational effi ciencies in their data centres. Research fi rm Gartner identifies virtualisation as top of the  list when it comes to strategic technologies in 2009, with the potential for signifi cant impact on the  enterprise. In many cases performance, security, scalability and management issues are hindering the  widespread deployment of virtualisation across the enterprise, with organisations looking for virtualisation  solutions that are straightforward and which don’t require additional time and money investments to deploy and manage.
Enter open source virtualisation – the enterprise has a choice.
Now that there’s an alternative to VMWare, data centres can take advantage of open source virtualisation that  is integrated in the Linux operating system and delivers a slew of capabilities, which can be delivered to the CIO in a cost-effective manner. Virtualisation that is integrated into the operating system enables the same  physical hardware to be used to host both the operating system and virtual machines, dramatically improving  effi ciency in the data centre without compromising the performance of the bare-metal applications.
So, we  have a problem: how do we encourage widespread adoption of virtualisation? And, we have a solution: open  source virtualisation. But the challenges are to educate enterprises across New Zealand about the fact that there now is a very real alternative to proprietary virtualisation offerings, and to help them to recognise the  benefits.
Now that there is a choice, resellers are presented with new opportunities to work with organisations on  evaluating and implementing effective virtualisation solutions. This involves looking for a comprehensive  portfolio of server, client and management products that allows the entire spectrum of enterprise workloads to  run on one common infrastructure that is both manageable and secure.
In addition, resellers should approach virtualisation with a view for the long term – assisting organisations in  laying the foundation of a flexible cloud computing environment that will enable them to, in the future, deploy  any application, anywhere, at anytime. That makes the choice of virtualisation technology an easy one  – one  solution that is capable of the outstanding performance, scalability and agility inherent in open  virtualisation.

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