Whether building a virtual desktop infrastructure, virtualizing your servers, or virtualizing storage – or all of the above, virtualization brings with it many advantages. With virtualization, you can improve your efficiency, reduce IT costs, build flexibility into the infrastructure, and simplify IT management. How van virtualization and virtualization management accomplish all of the advantages?
Virtualization improves efficiency. IT equipment including servers, desktop computers, and network storage arrays take up a great deal of physical space, and they consume a lot of energy. By moving to a virtual desktop infrastructure and consolidating workloads onto fewer servers, you can dramatically improve energy efficiency across the entire enterprise. In addition to curbing the power consumption of underutilized servers and desktops, your cooling requirements will fall because less heat will be generated and you'll have fewer physical machines to keep cool. Virtualization allows you to make better use of existing resources.
Virtualization reduces IT costs. IT costs can be reduced in several ways through virtualization management. As mentioned above, energy consumption falls with virtualization which will immediately reduce your energy costs. In addition, since your existing resources are used more efficiently, you will have fewer capital investments in new servers, desktops, and storage devices. Licensing costs are also likely to fall as you'll have fewer servers and desktop clients requiring licenses. With a virtual desktop infrastructure, it's also much easier and faster to apply updates and create cloned virtual machines than it is to do so to dozens, if not hundreds, of physical clients. As a result, your labor costs will be lower, too.
Virtualization builds flexibility into your virtual desktop infrastructure. The flexibility of a virtual desktop infrastructure allows workers to access their virtual machines from virtually anywhere. Whether working from the main office, a branch office, or a laptop when on the road, each employee can access their desktops. If a computer needs to be replaced, the worker can immediately resume work on an alternate computer without having to wait for data to be recovered from the old machine or applications to be installed onto a new one. This flexibility isn't just limited to virtual desktop infrastructures; it is also present in server and storage virtualization. For example, with storage virtualization, disks can be removed and replaced as needed without causing downtime or data loss.
Virtualization simplifies IT management. From patching operating systems to setting up new client computers, managing a virtual desktop infrastructure is dramatically easier than managing traditional client computers. With virtualization, it's possible to accelerate deployment while working from a centralized, unified console. Virtual applications and desktops can quickly be provisioned. Security, maintenance, storage, and administrative functions can be handled with ease from a single, unified platform.
Virtualization management is its own discipline requiring specific knowledge and skills. However, moving to a virtualized environment brings enough advantages to justify the move. Consider offering your existing IT team virtualization management training or adding a virtualization management specialist to your IT department. With the right approach and a talented virtualization manager at the helm, you can improve efficiency, reduce your IT costs, build a more flexible infrastructure, and simplify IT management.
Stephanie is the author of this article on the advantages virtualization management has on an enterprise running a virtual desktop infrastructure. In her free time she enjoys volunteering at local schools and traveling the world with her family.