Tag Archive | hypervisor

Virtualization to Transform Enterprise Communications Infrastructure

Virtualization is the process of ‘decoupling’  users and applications from the hardware characteristics of the system that performs the computational tasks. Virtualization enhances the ability to manage and change the physical environment of the hardware and software without disrupting the performance of the enterprise. The benefits of virtualization have never been disputed. While the growing demand for Windows and Linux-based servers has led to the popularity of server virtualization, the need to eliminate incompatibilities among the several applications deployed by enterprises today has spawned a market for applications virtualization. Though server virtualization accounts for the bulk of the virtualization services market today, there are other critical ones such as virtualization of desktops, storage, networks and services.  

Virtualization is not a new trend by any means. For example, server virtualization finds its origins in server partitioning while desktop virtualization has been around as ‘thin client’ computing from the early 1990s. The big impetus behind thin-client computing or its more recent version, desktop virtualization, has come from the adoption of virtualization in data centers. The movement was led by VMware, which developed the hypervisor technology that involves the carving up of an industry-standard x86 server into multiple virtual machines. Each of these virtual machines shares the resources of the servers including processing power, memory and input/output while performing their tasks as a standalone machine. Since VMware’s initial foray into this market, the number of vendors has multiplied. 
Microsoft, Citrix and Sun Microsystems have developed capabilities in hypervisor technology and are making aggressive inroads into the market.

Who's Who in Virtualization

Who's Who in Virtualization

My colleague, Subha Rama, just completed a brief study on virtualization trends in the communications space and she concluded as follows: 
A looming question confronts communication vendors contemplating virtualization. Which would be the most attractive market segments to target? What should be the horizontal and vertical strategies? While there are no ready answers to this question, there are certain considerations that differentiate large enterprises from small and medium businesses while adopting application and desktop virtualization. Frost & Sullivan believes that medium-sized businesses would be the most attractive target segments for desktop and application virtualization services.
  • The prevailing server-to-virtual desktop concurrent user ratio makes this technology the most attractive for mid-tier companies. We believe that the technology has issues when it is scaled up to really large deployments (more than 5,000 users).
  • The application and deployment needs of medium enterprises are less diverse. There are fewer exceptions in terms of user profile when compared to large enterprises.
  • qThe higher volume and diversity of applications deployed by large enterprises today make it difficult to deploy them over a virtual desktop-application streaming model.

Target Market
Target Market

Subha identified the following factors as the key drivers for virtualization adoption: 
  • Innovation Drives Adoption: The market for server virtualization is fast approaching maturity. However, VDI and application streaming are still evolving. These technologies address a major pain point of enterprises – delivering communication solutions irrespective of location, device and time. Coupled with this, is the ability of organizations to scale application deployment without incurring large-scale investments. Frost & Sullivan expects that these factors will drive accelerated adoption in the next few years. By 2012, we expect at least 10% – 15% of large enterprises to have implemented application virtualization in one form or the other.
  • The UC Factor:Virtualization will gain new impetus from the growing need for organizations to deploy unified communications (UC) suites. Cost of implementation is the single biggest deterrent for large-scale UC adoption by enterprises. Enterprises that cannot afford the switch-over to IP-based communication networks that support ubiquitous enterprise collaboration can leverage virtualization and the public cloud infrastructure offered by a number of virtualization providers today. Though these services are attractive to mid-tier organizations, large organizations that find it difficult to keep pace with the rapid technology flux happening across the UC space may find virtualization a better option.
  • New Market Entrants Endorse Technology, Add to Market Confidence: Entry of large networking and communications vendors into the virtualization market has sent strong positive signals to end-users and instilled confidence in the technology. Communication vendors are partnering with virtualization technology providers to diversify solution delivery and offer advantages of virtualization to existing customers. This strategy also allows them to target new vertical and horizontal markets.
  • Lower IT Budgets in Times of Poor Economy Open Up New Opportunities: Gloomy economic conditions is exerting pressure on enterprise IT budgets. However, there are some sweet-spots that open up opportunities for vendors. One such opportunity is UC on mobile devices. While UC vendors innovate on the mobile application front, virtualization offers an attractive deployment option.

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