The physically-focused data center will likely become a relic of bygone days. Server virtualization can reduce capital costs via consolidation, higher device utilization rates, and the ability to redeploy older equipment. Operational costs decrease as a result of reducing floor space, power, and cooling needs; streamlining server maintenance and upgrades; and reducing pressure on IT staff. Productivity improvements are driven from higher application performance and availability, faster application deployment, and better responsiveness as business needs change. The financial and operational benefits of separating logical resources from physical devices are just too compelling to deny. In short, virtualization is here to stay.
The ultimate goal of achieving a truly efficient, flexible and scalable IT infrastructure lies in cloud computing deployments – and many users confuse cloud with virtualization. Server virtualization does not, however, equate to a cloud deployment. It is a first step to creating a cloud. A cloud infrastructure amplifies the aforementioned benefits—data is easily accessible from any location and resources are scaled up or down according to need. To deliver data and infrastructure as services, organizations need a fully virtualized infrastructure at its foundation, including storage and networks. Cloud infrastructures are fundamentally fully virtualized environments—to be truly effective in building a cloud, organizations must build flexible, responsive, efficient, and available infrastructures.
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