Edwinder Singh, practice head for professional services at Dimension Data, shares his views on the value of virtualisation and provides advice for organisations planning to adopt it.
In your opinion, why is virtualisation necessary and is it suitable for all, regardless of industry and company size?
Virtualisation is an ever-evolving platform in the IT Industry across all levels of infrastructure. It is extremely relevant across all industries and organisations simply because it will be, and to some extent already, the de-facto infrastructure platform. It forms the foundation of a cloud strategy and without virtualisation, none of the agility, flexibility and services availability today would be possible.
Today, virtualisation is not what it is as it was seven to eight years ago when it started to become mainstream. It existed in many forms before that, but at that stage, server virtualisation was the buzzword in the industry. It has evolved to cut across all levels of infrastructure including server and network and applications.
Virtualisation technologies seem to be rapidly maturing but are traditional applications ready for it? Are there any integration problems when it comes to bridging legacy systems to virtualisation solutions?
Different levels of virtualisation have different adoption rate within organisations. For instance, server virtualisation is a proven approach with sufficient expertise in the market to drive adoption today.
The notion of any virtualisation offering is to create a layer of abstraction between the hardware and software. Thus, in general, barring the golden rules of any other external dependencies, there should not be any reason that any given application not be able to take advantage of this technology.
What drives virtualisation maturity is really more of a mindset around a mirage of factors. The level of 'acceptance' of such a technology plays an important role in mass adoption. This includes the availability of the talent in the industry to actually have the skills to stand up such solutions in the organisation.
What are some of the key considerations that organisations should consider before embarking on a virtualised infrastructure?
Technology is but an enabler and a tool. Key consideration towards a successful stand up of an infrastructure is very much around having the right resources. Having the best technology without the ability to architect, design, deploy and maintain it is meaningless. Virtualisation technologies is quite complex today. As virtualisation is integrated and layered on top of one another (i.e servers, networks) in future, there will be a need for organisations to have a unique set of skills and a holistic understanding of the sum of the parts to architect the desired results.
How does virtualisation impact ROI?
ROI around virtualisation is no longer the mainstream consideration. It is only a jumpstart towards a justification for the journey to begin. Simply put, not taking this path will actually negatively impact the agility of a business, which will result in the organisation being less competitive compared to their peers in the industry. Virtualisation should be considered a default in any new project and not be an afterthought.
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