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Virtualization Lays Foundation for Cloud Computing and Additional Opportunities

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September 21, 2011

Virtualization Lays Foundation for Cloud Computing and Additional Opportunities

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

The proliferation of technologies to support cloud computing and virtualization is helping to drive a change throughout the global market, yet not all companies leveraging virtualization are getting the full bang for their buck. As virtualization does in fact lay the foundation for cloud computing, what opportunities are missed in the process?

A recent Carousel Industries blog explored this concept, referencing a Magic Quadrant report by Gartner (News - Alert). According to this research, a minimum of 40 percent of x86 architecture workloads are virtualized on servers, an installed base that is expected to grow to more than 75 percent by 2015. 

The benefits extended by virtualization suggest that this 40 percent is actually a very low number. The penetration is also low, considering that virtualization has been an available technology platform for years. The x86 server virtualization infrastructure, according to Gartner, provides the foundation for cloud computing and infrastructure modernization. 

To drive the modernization of the infrastructure, virtualization is the driving force to improve resource utilization, as well as improve the speed of the delivery of those resources and encapsulate workload images in a way that enables complete automation. Virtualization also serves as the primary footing for cloud computing, whether private or public. 

As a technology platform, virtualization is much more than just a way for the enterprise to save money by increasing server utilization. The idea that virtualization also powers cloud computing which is the springboard for fundamental change in the operation of IT. This element within the enterprise becomes more of a strategic partner to the business, delivering IT as a service that enables agility and flexibility, not possible with a static IT infrastructure.

Carousel Industries found out on the benefits associated with virtualization first hand, as the company recently replaced 100 physical servers with just five machines to handle the peak time data throughput, and three to handle the overnight load. In all, Carousel virtualized more than two-thirds of its enterprise service infrastructure – and still has more to do. 

The company is essentially spending less on power and cooling, even though virtualization has allowed them to do more towards reaching their strategic business goals. With the new virtualized infrastructure, Carousel can better serve its increasing base of mobile users and rapidly expand and improve service offerings in a way that is highly scalable and robust.

With so much opportunity in the market for virtualization, this is an area that is sure to continue to grow, with new providers constantly entering the space that are offering new innovations. This increased competition will benefit companies who are ready to embrace virtualization, but just haven’t made the leap as of yet.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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