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Techs & Trends : Virtualization

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Category: Trends
Published Date Written by Jason Loo

Cloud-Computing


Virtualization is a big word nowadays. I didn't realize until I discovered that this word could also be used in the business world which I will elaborate later. In the IT world, virtualization literally refers to the shifting of physical servers to those hosted virtually. This enables the rapid commercialization of all the AASes in the world. This includes the proliferation of Amazon, Microsoft to developer their IAAS (infra-as-a-service) and as well as PAAS (platform-as-a-service).


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In terms of viability for cost savings, virtualization presents a big change in the world of hardware purchase and management. Essentially, it reduces the total cost of ownership (TCO), where one physical server can be used to host multiple virtual servers, each of which runs different applications. For example, you could have HR, IT, Finance, Sales and Marketing related business applications residing in one physical server.


This not only reduces the cost of procuring servers but also eases the management of servers in terms of backup, disaster recovery, managed bandwidth etc. So, overall Virtualization is a very cost-effective implementation in the IT world. Network virtualization is also supported in such cases which makes  the job of the system administrator infinitely more efficient.

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Microsoft's overall vision of virtualization can be seen from the diagram below. To get a better estimate, please refer to the Microsoft Integrated Virtualization ROI calculator here.

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In the business world or in my case, virtualization can be used to mean the shifting of regular services traditionally done with physical resources to non-physical ones such as providing complete self-service options as well as virtual assistance. With this paradigm shift in mind, there is definitely costs involved and process changes that needs to take place. However, there is no denying that this is the way forward with the advent of cloud services such as Salesforce.com as well as social media sites that is used for branding, marketing and garnering customer feedback.


Of course, a move such as this requires governance and a standard framework to guide and enable the automation that will be forthcoming. This includes reexamining the current transactions that is traditionally done offline and manual and to figure out how to automate this transactions. Another activity that needs to be done is to ensure there is no duplication of effort when it comes to implementation in different channels. This requires a highly-coordinated framework that dictates the communication and process flow to all channels.

In terms of business benefits, it will bring cost savings to the company in terms of service reduction and a more highly accurate and reliable feedback mechanism to customers.


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