IT executives at organisations large and small have successfully virtualised a large portion of their server infrastructure over the past five years. Today, over 50% of all applications run as virtual machines (VMs) on a virtualised server, and in many large organisations, levels of virtualisation often exceed 80%.
These efforts reduced data centre capital costs, heightened asset utilisation, and enhanced IT staff productivity; however, IDC finds that many data centres tend to hit a barrier and stop short of successive stages of data centre resource virtualisation. They anticipate diminishing returns as they evaluate continued virtualisation of performance-sensitive, mission-critical applications — fearing overloaded storage and network facilities, demands for over provisioning of storage capacity, and disruptions in administration workloads.
Their other major concern is about the never-ending demand for more agile IT service delivery. While server virtualisation allowed IT organisations to deliver applications in days, rather than weeks or months, new applications in areas such as cloud, mobile, and analytics require delivery of IT resources in hours or even minutes. This pace of service creation requires elimination of bottlenecks in storage and network resource provisioning.
It is very clear that data centre managers need, in addition to server virtualisation, the virtualisation, pooling, and management of all the other resources that interoperate with their VMs. They require virtualized network interconnects and storage. They also need the tools to manage and automate these converged IT assets as an integrated data centre system.
This more agile system is the key to enabling the shift to a cloud-based infrastructure IT delivery model.
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