Use of Cloud Computing and Virtualization in the Time of Recession

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Cloud Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Michel Courtoy, Liz McMillan, Amy Eager

Related Topics: Cloud Computing, Virtualization Magazine, Network Virtualization

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Understanding Virtualization | @CloudExpo #VM #AI #DX #Virtualization

Businesses that were once reluctant to invest in virtualization are now willing participants

A Look at How Virtualization Is Setting Business Free from Physical Constraints

Instead of trying to determine whether or not virtualization is a good general business practice, you need to ask yourself one simple question: Does it make sense for my business?

The floodgates have officially opened. Businesses that were once reluctant to invest in virtualization are now willing participants, looking for any opportunity to reduce their dependence on physical assets and environments.

But is it worth the cost? This is a question that many businesses find themselves wondering and the answer isn't always clear.

Four Trends in Virtualization
For the purposes of this article, the term virtualization will be used to describe any activity that involves digitizing processes that were otherwise physical and/or manual in nature. In other words, virtualization is the process of moving tasks, behavior, and data online.

With that being said, let's take a look at four of the biggest trends in virtualization.

1. Server Virtualization
When most people discuss virtualization, they're referring to server virtualization. Server virtualization is the act of simplifying and consolidating servers to allow for a safer and more efficient IT environment.

Most large businesses have a number of different computer networks and servers. In fact, some large applications actually need their own dedicated servers to function properly. While this works, it's inefficient. Then there's the fact that servers take up physical space and generate lots of heat, thereby driving up energy costs.

"Server virtualization attempts to address both of these issues in one fell swoop," IT pro Jonathan Strickland explains. "By using specially designed software, an administrator can convert one physical server into multiple virtual machines. Each virtual server acts like a unique physical device, capable of running its own operating system."

2. Paperless Offices
The second big trend in virtualization is the paperless office. Every business wants to discuss ways in which they can reduce their dependence on paper and pursue more efficient, virtual processes. We're already seeing a huge movement away from paper products and towards virtual storage systems.

While paper will never become obsolete in the workplace, we're getting to a point where it's less needed than in the past. Many companies are even using software like Perceptive Content in order to digitally manage documents and cut down on paper dependency. As long as the right implementation process is followed, this tends to work pretty well.

3. BYOD Policies
Another popular, yet less obvious trend in virtualization is that of BYOD (bring your own device) implementation. As more and more IT departments around the country implement BYOD policies, there's less of a dependence on company owned and managed devices. This essentially leads to greater virtualization and fewer related issues.

4. Cloud Technology
Finally, it's impossible to study the surge in business-side virtualization without acknowledging the rise in cloud technology; specifically, as it pertains to cloud-based software programs. From email marketing tools like MailChimp and Campaigner to marketing solutions like Sprout Social and Hootsuite, everything is on the cloud. No longer do businesses have to use on-premise solutions that take up server space and require significant IT resources to manage. Now, almost every new business solution is deployed through the cloud.

Comparing the Costs and Benefits
Clearly, virtualization is on the rise. But, as any critical thinker understands, there are both costs and benefits associated with adopting new technologies and processes. Do these costs outweigh the benefits? Or is it still worth the investment?

1. Expect Direct Energy Savings
For companies that choose to invest in server virtualization, there are substantial energy savings. As Doug Renner, CEO at Peak IP Solutions, explains to his clients, "You'll typically see cost savings in the area of 50 percent of hardware, power, and cooling." For some businesses, this can total thousands of dollars per month in savings.

2. Be Cognizant of Performance
If you aren't careful, the energy savings associated with server virtualization can come back to bite you. Because virtualization is designed to be flexible and accommodate a number of applications, it's sometimes what ITProPortal describes as "jack of all trades, but master of none."

"As a result, hardware will be designed to give the best possible performance across a broad range of the most frequently used applications," ITProPortal explains. "But this will mean that it won't be able to deliver best-in-class performance for any given application compared to hardware that was designed specifically with that task in mind."

3. Save On the Purchase of Supplies and Equipment
When it comes to the paperless office and BYOD policies, one of the biggest benefits is the direct savings associated with a decreased dependence on office supplies and equipment.

Take paperless communication as an example. While there are costs associated with using cloud software to handle communication, this monthly service fee often pales in comparison to the cost of regularly purchasing office supplies - including ink and paper - that would otherwise be needed.

When you look at a BYOD policy, the savings can be enormous. When you take into account savings related to hardware, support, and service plans, the average employer can save roughly $3,217 per user per year. That's a huge savings that represents serious money when dozens or hundreds of employees are involved.

That's not to say there aren't costs associated with BYOD, though. Companies will generally see regulatory compliance fees, application security costs, back-end infrastructure expenses, policy development costs, and program management expenses rise. These costs can amount to a few hundred dollars per employee per year.

When it's all said and done, most BYOD policies end up saving the employer money over the long run. Sometimes it just takes some time for these savings to be realized.

Does It Make Sense for Your Business?
Ultimately, it all comes down to the individual business. Trends suggest that you can expect to benefit from certain investments, but you'll have to do some in-depth analysis in order to accurately understand how much you stand to gain.

Instead of trying to determine whether or not virtualization is a good general business practice, you need to ask yourself one simple question: Does it make sense for my business? The benefits have to outweigh the costs in your situation; otherwise, you're bound to fall short.

The good news is that they almost always provide a solid, worthwhile return on investment.

@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, and is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.

DevOps at Cloud Expo / @ThingsExpo 2017 New York 
(June 6-8, 2017, Javits Center, Manhattan)

DevOps at Cloud Expo / @ThingsExpo 2017 Silicon Valley
(October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA)

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The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.

@DevOpsSummit will expand the DevOps community, enable a wide sharing of knowledge, and educate delegates and technology providers alike. Recent research has shown that DevOps dramatically reduces development time, the amount of enterprise IT professionals put out fires, and support time generally. Time spent on infrastructure development is significantly increased, and DevOps practitioners report more software releases and higher quality. Sponsors of @DevOpsSummit will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

  • Featured on-site presentation and ongoing on-demand webcast exposure to a captive audience of industry decision-makers.
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  • Online advertising in SYS-CON's i-Technology Publications
  • Capitalize on our Comprehensive Marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage.
  • Unprecedented PR Coverage: Editorial Coverage on DevOps Journal
  • Tweetup to over 75,000 plus followers
  • Press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 industry analysts.

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities, contact Carmen Gonzalez by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802-3021.

The World's Largest "Cloud Digital Transformation" Event

@CloudExpo / @ThingsExpo 2017 New York 
(June 6-8, 2017, Javits Center, Manhattan)

@CloudExpo / @ThingsExpo 2017 Silicon Valley
(Oct. 31 - Nov. 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA)

Full Conference Registration Gold Pass and Exhibit Hall ▸ Here

Register For @CloudExpo ▸ Here via EventBrite

Register For @ThingsExpo ▸ Here via EventBrite

Register For @DevOpsSummit ▸ Here via EventBrite

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsors of Cloud Expo @ThingsExpo will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

  • Featured on-site presentation and ongoing on-demand webcast exposure to a captive audience of industry decision-makers
  • Showcase exhibition during our new extended dedicated expo hours
  • Breakout Session Priority scheduling for Sponsors that have been guaranteed a 35 minute technical session
  • Online targeted advertising in SYS-CON's i-Technology Publications
  • Capitalize on our Comprehensive Marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage
  • Unprecedented Marketing Coverage: Editorial Coverage on ITweetup to over 100,000 plus followers, press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 industry analysts

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities, contact Carmen Gonzalez (@GonzalezCarmen) today by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802-3021.

Secrets of Sponsors and Exhibitors ▸ Here
Secrets of Cloud Expo Speakers ▸ Here

All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo@ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.

Track 1. FinTech
Track 2. Enterprise Cloud | Digital Transformation
Track 3. DevOps, Containers & Microservices 
Track 4. Big Data | Analytics
Track 5. Industrial IoT
Track 6. IoT Dev & Deploy | Mobility
Track 7. APIs | Cloud Security
Track 8. AI | ML | DL | Cognitive Computing

Delegates to Cloud Expo @ThingsExpo will be able to attend 8 simultaneous, information-packed education tracks.

There are over 120 breakout sessions in all, with Keynotes, General Sessions, and Power Panels adding to three days of incredibly rich presentations and content.

Join Cloud Expo @ThingsExpo conference chair Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040), June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA for three days of intense Enterprise Cloud and 'Digital Transformation' discussion and focus, including Big Data's indispensable role in IoT, Smart Grids and (IIoT) Industrial Internet of Things, Wearables and Consumer IoT, as well as (new) Digital Transformation in Vertical Markets.

Financial Technology - or FinTech - Is Now Part of the @CloudExpo Program!

Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo @ThingsExpo June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech, which will incorporate machine learning, artificial intelligence, deep learning, and blockchain into one track.

Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expensive intermediate processes from their businesses.

FinTech brings efficiency as well as the ability to deliver new services and a much improved customer experience throughout the global financial services industry. FinTech is a natural fit with cloud computing, as new services are quickly developed, deployed, and scaled on public, private, and hybrid clouds.

More than US$20 billion in venture capital is being invested in FinTech this year. @CloudExpo is pleased to bring you the latest FinTech developments as an integral part of our program, starting at the 20th International Cloud Expo June 6-8, 2017 in New York City and October 31 - November 2, 2017 in Silicon Valley.

@CloudExpo is accepting submissions for this new track, so please visit www.CloudComputingExpo.com for the latest information.

Speaking Opportunities

The upcoming 20th International @CloudExpo@ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA announces that its Call For Papers for speaking opportunities is open.

Submit your speaking proposal today! ▸ Here

Our Top 100 Sponsors and the Leading "Digital Transformation" Companies

(ISC)2, 24Notion (Bronze Sponsor), 910Telecom, Accelertite (Gold Sponsor), Addteq, Adobe (Bronze Sponsor), Aeroybyte, Alert Logic, Anexia, AppNeta, Avere Systems, BMC Software (Silver Sponsor), Bsquare Corporation (Silver Sponsor), BZ Media (Media Sponsor), Catchpoint Systems (Silver Sponsor), CDS Global Cloud, Cemware, Chetu Inc., China Unicom, Cloud Raxak, CloudBerry (Media Sponsor), Cloudbric, Coalfire Systems, CollabNet, Inc. (Silver Sponsor), Column Technologies, Commvault (Bronze Sponsor), Connect2.me, ContentMX (Bronze Sponsor), CrowdReviews (Media Sponsor) CyberTrend (Media Sponsor), DataCenterDynamics (Media Sponsor), Delaplex, DICE (Bronze Sponsor), EastBanc Technologies, eCube Systems, Embotics, Enzu Inc., Ericsson (Gold Sponsor), FalconStor, Formation Data Systems, Fusion, Hanu Software, HGST, Inc. (Bronze Sponsor), Hitrons Solutions, IBM BlueBox, IBM Bluemix, IBM Cloud (Platinum Sponsor), IBM Cloud Data Services/Cloudant (Platinum Sponsor), IBM DevOps (Platinum Sponsor), iDevices, Industrial Internet of Things Consortium (Association Sponsor), Impinger Technologies, Interface Masters, Intel (Keynote Sponsor), Interoute (Bronze Sponsor), IQP Corporation, Isomorphic Software, Japan IoT Consortium, Kintone Corporation (Bronze Sponsor), LeaseWeb USA, LinearHub, MangoApps, MathFreeOn, Men & Mice, MobiDev, New Relic, Inc. (Bronze Sponsor), New York Times, Niagara Networks, Numerex, NVIDIA Corporation (AI Session Sponsor), Object Management Group (Association Sponsor), On The Avenue Marketing, Oracle MySQL, Peak10, Inc., Penta Security, Plasma Corporation, Pulzze Systems, Pythian (Bronze Sponsor), Cosmos, RackN, ReadyTalk (Silver Sponsor), Roma Software, Roundee.io, Secure Channels Inc., SD Times (Media Sponsor), SoftLayer (Platinum Sponsor), SoftNet Solutions, Solinea Inc., SpeedyCloud, SSLGURU LLC, StarNet, Stratoscale, Streamliner, SuperAdmins, TechTarget (Media Sponsor), TelecomReseller (Media Sponsor), Tintri (Welcome Reception Sponsor), TMCnet (Media Sponsor), Transparent Cloud Computing Consortium, Veeam, Venafi, Violin Memory, VAI Software, Zerto

About SYS-CON Media & Events
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More Stories By Larry Alton

Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.