Alan McMahon works for Dell in enterprise solution design, across a range for products from servers, storage to virtualization, and is based in Ireland.
While your management might know that virtualization is an IT method that will save you a lot of time and money, that doesn't mean that they're going to be able to immediately jump on board the cloud computing train.
Management may not completely grasp exactly how important it is to setup a virtualized environment, or they may be concerned about the security problems involved. When you want to really sell them on the idea of a virtualized infrastructure, one of the best ways to do so is to show them that it doesn't have to be a pain to get all of the components in place. There are several companies that create pre-configured virtualization infrastructure that is pretty much ready to go completely out of the box. The advantage being these solutions are tested for compatibility, setup with the best software for the job, and tested extensively in order to give you no problems during the setup process.
The planning and integration is already taken care of for you. You aren't going to have to spend endless hours training your IT staff on the software or hardware, as it's very easy to pick up, and most likely your IT department has more than a passing familiarity with the technology.
Working in the Agile World
The flexibility that you crave from a virtualized environment is also present with the pre-configured system. You can add in additional servers or entire new racks, depending on your requirements. Virtualized infrastructure is not just for large enterprises either. Small and medium businesses benefit from the scalability that this infrastructure affords, and they can start out on a smaller scale in order to make it much more affordable.
There are plenty of reasons why you might want to move to a virtualized infrastructure outside of the cost savings. For example, you can use this environment to consolidate servers. Instead of getting physical servers for every need, you can virtualize the resources that you have on hand in order to receive a much greater benefit than the physical servers alone could give you. You have faster deployment and reducing overhead since less physical hardware is needed.
Adding resources on demand is another huge benefit to having a pre-configured virtualized infrastructure. You already know exactly what hardware is going to work with your setup, so all you need to do is pick up extra servers or racks to keep going. You don't even have to have any downtime to get the additional resources added to the network, which is especially a good benefit to those who require as much uptime as possible, such as online stores.
Mobile Workforce Needs
One benefit that a lot of people overlook with virtualized infrastructure is the fact that your employees can reach this cloud wherever they are. If you have a highly mobile workforce, or want to offer work at home or remote office options to your employees, then this infrastructure setup allows you to do this in a very easy fashion. You can provide the powerful resources at the main headquarters, while reducing the IT needs at the remote locations or home locations.
When you have multiple demands on your IT department, you don't want to take them away from their day to day tasks or priority projects in order to plan and build a virtualized environment. You avoid this issue when you go with a pre-configured setup, as most of the hard work is out of the way, and the time demands are not nearly as harsh on the IT department at that point.
If you're looking for flexibility with resource allocation, a private cloud provides one of the best options for this. No one is going to have to wait weeks in order to get additional resources added to the infrastructure for their projects. Instead, the IT department just has to go into the management tools to allocate resources from the private cloud, to the requestor. It's this type of flexibility that really shows off the benefits you get with the cloud.
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