Virtualisation: right fit IDC services for SMEs
Virtualisation of data centres needs much less physical hardware than conventional methods. This means that SMEs can make huge savings on the cost of servers and their up gradation /maintenance which in turn imply savings on investment on high quality IT technologists and IT staff time. The shift of expense heads from capex to opex is also seen as a huge positive. Data backups are easy and disaster recovery is a much more enabled through Virtualisation.
Virtualisation enables much quicker server provisioning and efficient technological resource management in SMEs, which generally have challenges in terms of qualified IT staff and technology domain experts. A lot of time and energy is usually spent to help existing staff learn new management tools and manage numerous dedicated servers. Adaptation of new technologies in a virtual environment is much faster and this in turn enables quicker deployment of new services and makes research and development of products and services of the core business very easy.
There is a significant upward trend in recent times towards increased traction in the SME adoption of server Virtualisation along with a growth in hosted virtual desktops. More and more enterprises are literally in the cloud these days!!! The benefit to end users and the significant RoIs which enable flexible, uninterrupted access to desktops, reduced IT deployment and management costs, improved security and compliance seem to be driving adoption.
Some of the key benefits are:
- Lower total cost of ownership with a shift from capex overheads to opex..
- Lower power usage
- Scalability and customised services to attend to future requirements in a planned and phased manner
- 24 hour monitoring and customer support
- Tailor made solutions to meet very specific and diversified business requirements
- Faster deployment of services and faster time to market
- Eliminates the threat of obsolescence through real time up gradation of technology infrastructures
- Ability to focus on core business through minimal support system time and resource invests.
Many vendors today offer Virtualisation solutions designed specifically for SMEs. These solutions can help SMEs save power, cooling needs, cabling invests, storage costs and space, thereby enabling them to add applications easily when capacity needs grow.
In order to maximise the benefits, SMEs must work to align data centre operations to their network operations. The network/s must be positioned to efficiently connect and sync with the applications running in the data centres. Needless to add, deployment of technology architectures that allow server, storage and network resources to be standardized and integrated enables more effective utilisation, enhances infrastructure resilience, ensures optimised application availability and extends the lifecycle of capital assets. It also brings in value by reducing energy and consumption costs leading to a “greener” environment.
However, transitioning to a virtualised environment requires change at many levels. SMEs that move away from a piece-meal approach to an integrated one stand to benefit in the long term. Telcos again are a strong provider of integrated services in this space and offer specialised and customised solutions for the SME sector. SMEs also have the option of going in for hybrid solutions and then looking at a total transition in a phased manner.