What is Data Center Virtualization?
Before defining what it actually is, forecast after forecast all indicate this is one of the most active segments in all of IT with revenues expected to reach upwards of $8 billion by 2022 if not higher, powered by a Compound Annual Growth Rate in the double digits.
The market is incredibly robust and as far as a definition is concerned, Techopedia describes data center virtualization as the process of designing, developing and deploying a data center on virtualization and cloud computing technologies.
Virtual version of a device
The Web site Webopedia, meanwhile, goes one step further by stating that “in computing, virtualization means to create a virtual version of a device or resource, such as a server, storage device, network or even an operating system where the framework divides the resource into one or more execution environments.
“Even something as simple as partitioning a hard drive is considered virtualization because you take one drive and partition it to create two separate hard drives. Devices, applications and human users are able to interact with the virtual resource as if it were a real single logical resource.”
In other words, it is akin to a private cloud environment where it is an isolated and allocated configurable pool of compute and storage resource on a shared piece of infrastructure.
You are buying access to that environment. The critical difference when it comes to private cloud vs. the hyperscale public cloud is that in the former, we have always been used to providing a fixed, reserved instance of compute and storage.
At Aptum we guarantee that regardless of the underlying infrastructure, the necessary computing power will always be in existence.
Best practices must be in play
We have been doing this for a long time now and virtualization is a concept that has existed for a long time as well. As a result, when it comes to an organization moving into a virtualization environment, all of their best practices must come into play. Senior management must determine beforehand what they are ultimately looking to achieve and what sort of compute power they will need in order to achieve those goals.
For example, if you are based in North America and many of your customers are consuming your services from Europe, you need to have an equivalent environment there as well, which is something Aptum can do. One of an organization’s virtual stacks could be located in our data center in Toronto while another could be in our facility located in Portsmouth in the UK. They are fully replicated.
We can set that up for an organization. What we are also doing with our virtual infrastructure is the concept of full storage devices. We have all flash-based storage devices that can scale up or scale down based on your storage needs. What it comes down to is this: Fast storage can service any high-compute needs.
You have to look at what you are trying to achieve. What are your expansion plans, what is your budget, where are your users going to be activating services from? We can then design a virtual private cloud for you that will meet all of those needs.
The cloud has helped organizations understand virtual workloads quite well.
While customers have been looking to virtualize their workloads in order to make it ready for their own private cloud, there are portability tools that are emerging that allow you to take a virtual workload and move it in to a hyper-scale cloud and back again.
Depending on how your needs are changing, the ability and possibility of that is greater than ever before.
If you look at what solution is best for you, people have been focused on how to utilize the hyper-scale cloud for their own particular needs at the same time that Microsoft and AWS have been able to figure out how to get into a customer’s data centre.
Build for tomorrow, not today
That is where offerings such as Microsoft Azure Stack and VMWare Cloud on AWS come into play. Azure Stack, according to Microsoft, allows you to “build, deploy and operate hybrid cloud applications consistently across it and Azure in an integrated system of software and validated hardware.
“Address latency and connectivity requirements by processing data locally in Azure Stack and then aggregating in Azure for further analytics, sharing common application logic across both.”
VMware Cloud on AWS is an integrated cloud offering jointly developed by the two companies that allows organizations to seamlessly migrate and extend their on-premises VMware vSphere-based environments to the AWS cloud running on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud bare metal infrastructure.
Regardless of the environment and offerings, the key for any organization is to look at data centre virtualization from the perspective of an overall business outcome. Don’t build it for your needs today, but for what you will need in the future. The key is to take into account what your growth plans are and determine where you will be generating most of your traffic from.