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How your virtualisation platform can meet your needs today and in your cloud enabled future

By leveraging today’s leading virtualisation technologies, you can introduce operational efficiencies, improve application availability, and control costs like never before.

Category: Virtualisation

Date: , 15:54

Company: VMware

In companies large and small, IT leaders are facing tremendous opportunities—and challenges. The opportunities come as the role of IT shifts from a back-office function to strategic enabler of business growth. In this role, IT has the ability to drive the adoption of technology solutions that change the way customers, employees, and partners interact with the business—from collaboration tools, to social business, to the remote workforce—while increasing business agility and innovation. Yet, with the opportunity comes challenge. Saddled by budget constraints, increasing complexity of the IT environment, and limited technical expertise on staff, IT leaders struggle in their attempt to simultaneously solve today’s challenges, while building for the future.

Stratecast frost & sullivan 50 Years of Growth, Innovation and Leadership How Your Virtualization Platform Can Meet Your Needs Today - and in Your Cloud-Enabled Future An Executive Brief Sponsored by Hewlett-Packard July 2013 www.frost.com Stratecast | Frost & Sullivan HOW YOUR VISUALIZATION PLATFORM CAN MEET YOUR NEEDS TODAY - AND IN YOUR CLOUD-ENABLED FUTURE INTRODUCTION In companies large and small, IT leaders are facing tremendous opportunities—and challenges. The opportunities come as the role of IT shifts from a back-office function to strategic enabler of business growth. In this role, IT has the ability to drive the adoption of technology solutions that change the way customers, employees, and partners interact with the business—from collaboration tools, to social business, to the remote workforce—while increasing business agility and innovation. Yet, with the opportunity comes challenge. Saddled by budget constraints, increasing complexity of the IT environment, and limited technical expertise on staff, IT leaders struggle in their attempt to simultaneously solve today's challenges, while building for the future. Fortunately, there is an answer—one that can address IT's biggest headaches at minimal cost and effort, while setting up a framework for future success. Better yet, many businesses are already familiar with the solution, and have the building blocks at hand. We are talking, of course, about data center virtualization. By leveraging today's leading virtualization technologies, you can introduce operational efficiencies, improve application availability, and control costs like never before. Better yet, the right virtualization solution paves the path to the cloud, allowing you to build on your investment when your company is ready to evolve into the cloud business model. In this white paper, we explore virtualization as the cornerstone of your IT optimization effort. We show how virtualization supports private cloud configurations. Finally, we review criteria for selecting a virtualization partner, with emphasis on converged solutions from HP and VMware. ABOUT VIRTUALIZATION Virtualization decouples the physical (e.g., servers) from the logical (e.g., application software and operating system). In a virtualized environment, applications are deployed as all-inclusive virtual machines (VMs), which contain application code, operating system, and configuration instructions in a self-contained package. Because the operating and 2 4AA4-7609ENW July 2013 © 2013 Stratecast. All Rights Reserved. How Your Virtualization Platform Can Meet Your Needs Today - and in the Future deployment logic reside with the application code, rather than installed separately on the server, the VM can be moved and loaded onto any hypervisor-equipped server hardware, via a management console, as easily as moving a file. The hypervisor installed on the physical server "tricks" each VM into believing it has full access to all the server resources (processor and memory). Therefore, multiple VMs can share a single physical server, thus optimizing capacity utilization. Best-in-class hypervisors are designed to consume minimal server resources, enabling the physical server to support the maximum number of VMs. How IT Benefits from Virtualization The right virtualization solution can transform the data center, enabling IT to do more with less drain on budget and technical resources. More importantly, virtualization solutions can directly mitigate the top challenges IT departments face today. Figure I shows the top data center challenges cited by IT decision-makers in a 2013 Frost & Sullivan survey. Figure I: Top-Ranked Data Center Challenges Cited by U.S. IT Decision-Makers Capital budget constraints Growth of data storage requirements Slow/poor performance of applications Keeping up with new technology High maintenance costs Aging,inefficient infrastructure Mini mi zing down time/increasing availability of apps Managing multiple data center environments Delivenngapplicationstoremote users Administrative complexity Lackof infrastructure flexibility Sea lability of dynamic applications N=407 35% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% %of Respondents Source: Stratecast For nearly every challenge listed, a high functionality virtualization solution can provide a means to address or mitigate the problem, as shown in Figure 2 below. © 2.013 Stratecast. All Rights Reserved. July 2013 4AA4-7609ENW 3 Stratecast | Frost & Sullivan Figure 2: How Virtualization Addresses Top IT Challenges Rank Data Center Challenge How Virtualization Addresses the Challenge 1 Capital budget constraints Virtualization defers investment in additional server hardware by maximizing use of existing equipment. 2 Growth of data storage requirements By optimizing existing storage capacity, virtualization allows you to store more on less hardware. Some vendors' solutions accommodate up to three times as much storage in the same footprint. 3 Slow/poor performance of applications A lot of factors go into application performance, including network, protocol and coding, and server speed and capacity. To the extent that allocation of server resources plays a role, virtualization can address this challenge. VM portability enables technicians to quickly respond to capacity constraints by moving the VM to another server. 4 Keeping up with new technology While no technology solution can solve this challenge on its own, the choice of the right virtualization partner to guide you through your options is critical. 5 High maintenance costs Virtualization helps reduce maintenance costs through simplified deployment and administration processes, and less hardware to configure. 6 Aging, inefficient servers/ equipment Virtualization can extend the useful life of your aging servers by maximizing utilization of capacity. As you replace hardware, you can select efficient servers designed for a high-density virtual-ized environment; this will ensure that you continue to get the most from your infrastructure. 7 Minimizing downtime/ increasing availability of apps Virtualization can be a vital part of a high-availability strategy. Portability of VMs can eliminate planned downtime for critical applications. A virtualized environment also should easily integrate into your backup and recovery solution. 8 Managing multiple environments The right virtualization solution is not a dead end, but one that offers a path toward effectively managing a heterogeneous environment; one that may include public, private, and hybrid clouds, as well as on-premises and hosted virtualized data center facilities. 9 Delivering applications to remote users The right virtualization platform ensures that authorized users have secure access to their applications and data, while guarding against data breaches. 10 Administrative complexity The best virtualization solutions include robust toolsets for easily building, deploying, and managing virtual applications, while murmuring iriirdbiruLiuic utilization aiiu application pciiurni ance. Furthermore, user-friendly management consoles minimize training requirements, and facilitate staffing flexibility. 11 Lack of infrastructure flexibility Virtualization allows multiple operating systems and multiple applications to share server resources, allowing a pool of server capacity to be managed as a common unit. 12 Scalability of dynamic applications A virtualized workload can be replicated and deployed in minutes, enabling you to quickly scale up and down in response to changing needs. Source: Stratecast 4 4AA4-7609ENW July 2013 © 2013 Stratecast. All Rights Reserved. How Your Virtualization Platform Can Meet Your Needs Today - and in the Future How the Business Benefits from Virtualization Compelling as the IT benefits are, today's IT leaders are thinking beyond the walls of their own department and focusing on broader business challenges. The broader perspective is necessary to earn support (and budget) from senior business leaders representing all lines of business (LoB). From this perspective, it is easy to make a strong case for virtualization. IT leaders can point to the following business benefits associated with virtualization: ? Increased business agility - In the past, most IT departments have been perceived by their LoB colleagues as roadblocks. That is because requests for new or expanded applications have triggered an onerous, lengthy process for requisitioning capital budget for new infrastructure purchases; procuring and provisioning the hardware; deploying application software in a test environment, and, finally, deploying the application to production. Because a virtualized environment reduces and eliminates a number of these steps, IT is able to support, rather than thwart, the business's need to move quickly in response to competitive parries and market conditions. ? Support for innovation - In today's business environment, IT has the opportunity to drive innovation and differentiation through technology initiatives such as collaboration, mobility, and analytics. But as long as IT resources (budget and people) are tied up in keeping current workloads running, there is little room for new initiatives. Virtualization can free up budget (capital and operating), as well as valuable time, giving technical staff the freedom to explore ways to grow the business. ? Internal service level agreements (SLAs) - LoB colleagues will quickly rally around any initiative in which IT takes responsibility for metrics associated with provisioning and performance of applications. A well functioning virtualized infrastructure can offer the degree of consistency that IT needs to build SLAs. These may include time-to-provision a new application (thanks to faster test and provisioning); application performance during peak times (thanks to scalability); and application availability (thanks to easy portability of VMs). ? Support round-the-clock business operations - As the concept of the "business day" collapses under the expectations of employees, customers, and partners, even routine maintenance outages are unacceptable. Because virtualization supports portability, workloads can be easily moved among servers, or even to new locations, enabling applications to remain live even during maintenance tasks. Virtualization can also facilitate disaster recovery plans, ensuring that workloads are quickly brought back on line following an unexpected disruption. © 2.013 Stratecast. All Rights Reserved. July 2013 4AA4-7609ENW 5 Stratecast | Frost & Sullivan Businesses are building cloud roadmaps that start with virtualization, continue through cloud configurations, and may extend all the way to a completely dynamic Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) that supports the ITaaS model. VIRTUALIZATION AS A FOUNDATION TO CLOUD While virtualization can introduce tremendous efficiencies into data center infrastructure, forward-looking IT leaders are considering a broader transformation—one that changes the nature of how IT resources are delivered. The shift is to an "IT as a Service" (ITaaS) model, in which the IT department becomes the steward, enabler, and manager of IT resources that are largely consumed on a self-service basis by users (employees, partners, even customers). This service-oriented approach to application delivery is achievable through a cloud model. For this reason, businesses are starting to build cloud roadmaps—plans that start with virtualization, and continue through private, public, and hybrid cloud configurations; and that may extend all the way to a completely dynamic Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) that supports the ITaaS model. An SDDC is a flexible, dynamic and fully virtualized environment in which servers, network, storage, and security resources are automated and delivered on-demand, via an intelligent software platform. But to get to the vision, it all starts with the virtualization platform. Virtualization is a foundation to cloud architecture; and the most flexible virtualization platforms are designed to support various cloud configurations (private, public, and hybrid). As a result, IT can evolve from a virtualized data center to a cloud architecture simply by implementing additional platform layers (e.g., cloud service automation platform or SDDC platform). The road from virtualization to cloud is evidenced by current adoption patterns. According to a Frost & Sullivan survey, more than half of businesses currently utilize server virtualization in their data centers (see Figure 3). Figure 3: Current Usage and Plans for Server Virtualization Do not use server virtualization and do not plan to implement 17% use but plan to implement 6% N=407 Source: Stratecast 4AA4-7609ENW July 2013 © 2013 Stratecast. All Rights Reserved. How Your Virtualization Platform Can Meet Your Needs Today - and in the Future As indicated in Figure 4, there is significant interest in private cloud adoption, even if it is longer-term. While just 10 percent of businesses have already adopted a private cloud, 30 percent expect to implement a cloud in the next two years, and another 27 percent are considering implementing the private cloud. Figure 4: Implementation and Plans to Implement a Private Cloud Do not know much about private cloud 16% Are considering implementing a private cloud hut no plans in the next 2 years, = 407 27% Have implemented private cloud. Have ^ 10% implemented ^__virtualization ^L^-""""^ and plan to & implement K private cloud within 2 years, 14% Have not yet implemented virtualization hut plan to implement private cloud within 2 years, 16% Source: Stratecast As made clear in the survey results, businesses occupy many places along the cloud roadmap, with each company identifying its current place and the right pace according to its own needs and culture. While the majority of businesses expect to include cloud in their future, their plans indicate varying degrees of urgency to move forward How can businesses tell where they are on the cloud roadmap? How can they decide whether to focus on virtualizing the data center or implementing a private cloud? For most businesses, it is best to start by understanding your goals; and then choose the least complex, lowest cost way to reach them. If you need to streamline your data center operations, then you can likely be successful with a virtualization solution. If you are looking to offer self-service capabilities to employees, and to transform application development and delivery into a Software as a Service model, then go straight to cloud. Try not to over-think or over-engineer the project. If you launch a cloud, but only take advantage of the virtualization functionality, then your project (and your reputation) may suffer because the tangible benefits will be perceived as low compared with the effort and cost. © 2.013 Stratecast. All Rights Reserved. July 2013 4AA4-7609ENW 7 Stratecast | Frost & Sullivan WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A VISUALIZATION PLATFORM To keep your data center operating at peak efficiency, it is worth taking a fresh look at the latest virtualization technology. This is true whether you are new to virtualization, or whether you bought your solution years ago. The newest technologies introduce greater functionality and efficiencies, while minimizing costs and administrative burden. In addition, the right virtualization platform will help move you along your cloud roadmap, providing a path to the private cloud, and even public clouds. In researching best-of-breed virtualization platforms, look for the following characteristics: ? High Density - A virtualization solution should be robust enough to support the maximum number of virtual machines on the minimum amount of hardware. Couple it with high-performing hardware that is designed to handle dense workloads without performance degradation. ? Powerful - Your data center environment is a mix of applications and data, compute workloads and storage. Look for a solution that lets you virtualize every application in your data center, if you choose—including the most resource- intense workloads, like messaging and databases. ? Support for live migrations - A well-managed virtualized data center enables you to minimize or even eliminate downtime for scheduled maintenance. But to do that, you need to be able to migrate VMs while they are running. Choose a solution that supports live migrations. ? Support for live resource expansion - Sometimes an application requires more resources than anticipated. Look for a virtualization platform that allows you to do "hot adds;" that is, to add compute, memory, disk, and networking resources, as needed, while the workload is running. ? Management and administrative tools - Look for comprehensive tools that offer sophisticated functionality from a single "pane of glass." Better yet, to ease the management burden and training time, choose a solution that your technicians are already familiar with, or that integrates with your existing management system. ? Support for tiered storage - Your virtualization strategy should complement, not compete with, your storage strategy. Choose a solution that interoperates with your existing storage solution, with functionality such as failover. Be sure your solution offers the ability to map VMs to the appropriate tier of storage hardware. ? Security - With all data centers at risk for breaches and loss, be sure to select a solution that allows you to apply security policies right into the virtualization 8 4AA4-7609ENW July 2013 © 2013 Stratecast. All Rights Reserved. How Your Virtualization Platform Can Meet Your Needs Today - and in the Future layer, so that security moves with the VMs. This additional level of defense is your best opportunity to protect your workloads and comply with data privacy regulations. ? Forward-looking - Using your cloud roadmap as a guide, be sure to protect your virtualization investment by selecting a solution that supports an eventual move into the cloud. Choose a virtualization solution that facilitates movement of applications and workloads into your own private cloud or leading providers' public clouds. For greatest return, look for a provider that is leading the industry into the next transformative delivery model, SDDC. The Value of a Converged Virtualization Solution Virtualization increases data center density, allowing you to run more applications and workloads within the same footprint. While a flexible virtualization platform can work with any server—even the legacy hardware that is currently on your data center floor— you will maximize your results by choosing hardware that is designed to support virtualization. High performance servers and storage are built to maximize capacity utilization. A converged solution that is pre-engineered to work with a specific virtualization platform also has the advantage of reducing the time required to install and test the virtualization software. The "plug and play" installation and updates reduce labor costs and increase time-to-value—factors that can offset the higher cost of a converged solution compared a do-it-yourself installation of the virtualization solution on a generic server. WHY CONSIDER AN HP AND VMWARE CONVERGED VIRTUALIZATION SOLUTION? Enterprises looking to get the most from their virtualized data center would do well to consider a converged solution that combines HP infrastructure and VMware virtualization. VMware pioneered the use of virtualization in the enterprise, and it remains the worldwide market leader. The leading proponent of the flexible SDDC platform, VMware is transforming the way IT delivers services to constituents. VMware's vSphere platform is the choice of 57 percent of U.S. businesses, according to a recent Frost & Sullivan survey; and the company is the dominant provider of virtualization solutions in nearly every leading public and private cloud. The vSphere platform is recognized as a flexible and high-performance solution for virtualizing corporate compute and storage workloads. At the same time, the vSphere platform simplifies data center and application management, enables consistent security, and reduces operating costs. To help businesses maximize the value of vSphere, and derive the lowest Total Cost of Ownership, VMware has partnered with HP, a leader in data center solutions. HP's © 2.013 Stratecast. All Rights Reserved. July 2013 4AA4-7609ENW 9 Stratecast | Frost & Sullivan VirtualSystem VS3 is a converged infrastructure solution that optimizes HP's high- performance ProLiant servers and 3Par storage to support virtualized workloads. VirtualSystem solutions are pre-engineered to support leading hypervisors. HP VirtualSystem VS3 optimized for VMware 2.2 allows users to simply "plug in" the VMware hypervisor, slashing implementation time and eliminating the need to test the solution. Furthermore, future versions of both the hardware and software are assured to work together, allowing users to avoid the frustration associated with labor-intensive, out-of-synch refresh schedules. Because the server and virtualization software are designed to work together, there is little "friction" that can negatively impact application performance. Instead, data moves seamlessly through each touchpoint. This maximizes the value of the virtualized data center. 10 4AA4-7609ENW July 2013 © 2013 Stratecast. All Rights Reserved. How Your Virtualization Platform Can Meet Your Needs Today - and in the Future Stratecast The Last Word The right virtualization platform offers a solution to IT's greatest challenges today, as well as a path to a successful, software-defined IT resource delivery model in the future. For most enterprises, the successful virtualized data center will deliver operational efficiencies and high levels of functionality that they need to address growing IT requirements. But not all virtualization platforms are equally effective. Choose a solution that minimizes downtime by allowing live migrations of workloads. Ensure your solution supports your tiered storage scheme. Be sure your solution optimizes resource utilization so you can run the maximum number of virtual servers in the minimum amount of space. Finally, ensure that the solution scales effectively so that you do not experience performance degradation, even on your most resource- intense workloads. To protect your investment, choose a solution that will carry your business into a future that includes cloud delivery and IT as a Service. By selecting a converged solution like HP VirtualSystem VS3 for VMware 2.2, you can be assured of a powerful, yet flexible, virtualization environment that will grow with you—all the way to the cloud, if you choose. In doing so, you are serving your company's interests, now and in the future. Lynda Stadtmueller Program Director - Cloud Computing Stratecast | Frost & Sullivan lstadtmueller@stratecast.com To learn more about HP Virtualization and Converged Cloud for VMware, click here. © 2.013 Stratecast. All Rights Reserved. July 2013 4AA4-7609ENW II Silicon Valley San Antonio London 33 I E. Evelyn Ave., Suite 100 7550 West Interstate 10, Suite 400 4- Grosvenor Gardens, Mountain View, CA 94041 San Antonio, Texas 78229-56 16 London SWIW ODH.UK Tel 650.475.4500 Tel 210.348.1000 Tel 44(0)20 7730 3438 Fax 650.475.1570 Fax 210.348.1003 Fax 44(0)20 7730 3343 877.GoFrost • myfrost@frost.com h tt p ://www.f ro st. c o m ABOUT STRATECAST Stratecast collaborates with our clients to reach smart business decisions in the rapidly evolving and hyper- competitive Information and Communications Technology markets. Leveraging a mix of action-oriented subscription research and customized consulting engagements, Stratecast delivers knowledge and perspective that is only attainable through years of real-world experience in an industry where customers are collaborators; today's partners are tomorrow's competitors; and agility and innovation are essential elements for success. Contact your Stratecast Account Executive to engage our experience to assist you in attaining your growth objectives. ABOUT FROST & SULLIVAN Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today's market participants. For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the Global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector and the investment community. Is your organization prepared for the next profound wave of industry convergence, disruptive technologies, increasing competitive intensity, Mega Trends, breakthrough best practices, changing customer dynamics and emerging economies? Contact Us: Start the Discussion For information regarding permission, write: Frost & Sullivan 331 E. 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