Topics: Data center colocation, Virtual infrastructure
Virtualization is the emergent technology paradigm in IT today. Virtualization is the ability to deliver information technology virtual infrastructure to clients remotely through an internet connection. In other words, virtualization allows for companies to utilize IT resources without having to own the physical servers, computers, wiring, networks, and software.
Utilizing virtual infrastructure to meet IT demands is a viable alternative to traditional, in-house system implementations. Due to the nature of virtualization as a remote service that is scaled to demand, many companies can benefit from the flexibility of added capacity, additional managed services, and the ability to shift focus and funding into core business functions.
Let us take a look at how virtual infrastructure can be used by companies of any size.
Large, Established Organizations
Most companies that fit into this category will already have existing IT resources in house. However, this does not preclude the use of virtual infrastructure. Large companies can utilize scalable remote resources to meet changing demands during business cycles, seasonal usage, or for unexpected need. Since resources are provided and paid for on demand, there are never any idle resources consuming power and contributing to overhead costs. Any piece of IT infrastructure can be accessed through virtualization, from equipment to software and networking as well as wiring and managed services.
One particularly powerful application of virtual infrastructure is for data center colocation. Under a data center colocation system, a company places their existing hardware in an IT firm’s specialized facilities. In this manner, data center colocation is similar to leasing the space, power, and bandwidth to run a system, allowing a business to utilize their own custom equipment but outsource the maintenance and housing costs and responsibilities. IT firms are able to provide the technical know how to properly manage and maintain IT resources, including power management, cooling and environmental control, and security and reliability.
Data center colocation also aids in disaster recovery. Having IT resources under the 24×7x365 supervision of an IT firm nearly eliminates the opportunity for catastrophic failure. If a client’s office were to lose power or suffer a disaster, IT resources are safely stored in a facility with redundant layers of protection. Data center colocation is just one example of managed services that established companies can utilize for more efficient operation and management of their technology resources.
Startups Plus Small and Medium Businesses
The latest technology usually comes with inherent costs and risks, creating a barrier to entry for many smaller sized companies. The required capital outlay, lead times, and risk are often too prohibitive for a company that could otherwise greatly benefit from information technology. Virtual infrastructure is able to provide total system solutions for any business, effectively removing barriers to entry by shifting capital expenses into a utility-type subscription or on-demand cost structure.
Any part of an information system can be virtualized. At one end, a company could lease access to an entire system, from applications and computing power down to data storage, email archiving, and virtual networks. A total virtual infrastructure would be best for a startup or small business that wanted to benefit from IT resources, but had little expertise or manpower to use in this area.
Larger companies can easily pick and choose what services or devices they require, such as servers, software, data center space, or network equipment. A local bank branch can utilize data center colocation for disaster recovery, a distributor can lease remote backup services for customer order histories, or a government organization could lease enterprise resource programs to manage business functions and communicate between departments.
Virtual Business Continuity for Any Company
Any organization that relies on its IT infrastructure for mission critical business functions needs to have a disaster recovery plan in place. The loss of access to vital business data or the ability to process requests can quickly cripple a company. Virtual business continuity services are another example of virtualization that can be utilized by any sized company.
Business continuity services range from complete system duplication to remote backup services. For instance, software can be virtualized to replace a failed server or computer. Data archival can be used as a recovery avenue for lost or compromised information. In an extreme case, an entire system can be duplicated with virtual infrastructure.
Overall, virtualization provides a flexible array of solutions for information technology needs with the application of virtual infrastructure and managed services. Implementations can range in size and scope while eliminating capital costs and minimizing operational expenses.
Steve Bulmer is CTO and an author for Consonus, a service provider of virtual infrastructure (www.consonus.com) Consonus also offers data center colocation (www.consonus.com) services tailor made to fit any business need.
Distributed by www.ContentCrooner.com
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