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The efficient enterprise

01 Apr 10

It’s no secret that virtualisation technologies help improve efficiency and cost savings through increased computing density, which can significantly decrease the floor space, power consumption and administrative requirements to run a data centre. At the same time, virtualisation streamlines deployment, provisioning, capacity planning, charge-backs, security and systems management. Unfortunately, many IT executives hit operational roadblocks that dilute their projected return on investment. To help overcome those hurdles, here are some tips on the best way to deploy virtualisation technologies.

Establish a framework

The customer’s IT strategists need support in the form of expertise, tools and automated analysis to assist them in driving virtualisation projects from pilot to production. Workshops should be offered that explore customer challenges, along with operational readiness assessments designed to help organisations understand the impact virtualisation may have on their current environment, and gap-analyses to identify action items for getting the company prepared for a virtualised environment.

In addition, there should be a virtualisation operations framework dashboard for each engagement, to establish metrics and provide reporting for critical success factors.

Simplify and centralise

While legions of remote workers are already changing what it means to conduct ‘business as usual’, mobile workers also pose a big challenge for managing and securing remote systems and data. Distribution and imaging of laptops can be complex and costly. Existing systems management tools are not designed to track and push updates for a large mix of mobile assets. In addition, confidential data must not fall into the wrong hands when a mobile system is lost or stolen.

IT executives can be helped to address these considerations through comprehensive mobility management solutions. For example, software should provide a cost-effective systems management platform specifically designed to handle the needs of the mobile workforce. Laptop data encryption services also help keep data on mobile computers safe in case of loss or theft.

Optimise storage

While IT budgets remain flat, data storage requirements continue to increase at a breakneck pace. As a result, a large percentage of IT staff resources is spent managing backup processes and searching for data. Even worse, unnecessarily redundant data can bloat systems and compound IT complexity.

Solutions need to be offered that create cost-effective archiving solutions to better manage record retention, as well as assist in migrating lower-tier storage to lower-cost platforms. Organisations should be shown how to take advantage of advanced technologies such as data de-duplication in the way that is most appropriate for their infrastructure. And don’t forget to offer a comprehensive disaster recovery strategy!

Move to the cloud

Traditional on-site systems can be slow to change and difficult to scale – a significant disadvantage, as IT teams are asked to do more with less. Cloud services offer an efficient model that can augment existing infrastructures with additional flexibility and help free IT staff to work on strategic projects rather than day-to-day systems management.

Companies can leverage the benefits of cloud computing by pragmatically combining the power of software as a service (SaaS) with infrastructure support and expertise. SaaS offerings can be deployed in as little as a day and scale when needed. Monthly costs are predictable, and enterprises pay only for what they use. With near-zero maintenance and automatic upgrades included, these services enhance IT flexibility and business agility. And when uptime is important for critical applications such as email, a cloud-delivered approach helps ensure fast failover to avoid disruption.

Automate and streamline

The goal of automated management is to help IT executives reallocate spending from systems maintenance to strategic initiatives that advance business and organisational goals.

Providing fully hosted virtual desktops as a service helps eliminate the need for IT organisations to procure and manage their own physical resources. Companies buy only what they need – including related support, updates and maintenance.

Overall, deployments must be pragmatic and the IT services tailored to your clients’ individual needs, taking advantage of virtualisation-based innovation, such as SaaS and the cloud, wherever it makes sense.

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