Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2013. Read them in this VMblog.com series exclusive.
Contributed article by Atif Malik, Consulting Director for Data Center & Infrastructure Optimization at SunGard Availability Services
Why Asset Optimization Will Rule in 2013
The coming year will be dominated by data, and organizations with
the ability to optimize their data by moving from ad-hoc management to
optimized analysis that allows them to improve business processes, identify
critical assets and shift toward operational resiliency will gain a competitive
In every sector, from financial services to retail to healthcare,
information is growing in quantities so enormous that most enterprises do not have
the infrastructure to analyze that date--the business simply doesn't have the
personnel or the technology resources to process the data in any meaningful
way. Unstructured data sets residing within an organization have exploded
beyond the internal management capabilities, and the enterprises that have so
far failed to organize the volumes of information they hold risk losing the
ability to control costs and maximize business growth.
In terms of both resiliency and cost assessment, careful asset
optimization can mutually align and strengthen both of these business
objectives. Fortune 500 companies have for years adopted virtualization
strategies, yet many have not critically assessed optimizing their virtualized
environment. The continued push in recent years to find savings by virtualizing
physical infrastructure has caused enterprises to overlook assessing their
virtualized environment for additional cost savings, most commonly in using
their virtual farms more efficiently rather than scaling out to add to their
virtual assets. Increased density of virtualized environments can be a huge
area of cost savings in 2013.
A trend that will gain momentum is enterprises that view IT as a
division that deliver not just technology solutions, but business solutions.
Enterprises are under greater pressure to drive down costs, and can utilize
their IT departments to locate areas of the business where costs can be
contained and resiliency gained by eliminating duplicated business processes or
inefficiencies in virtualization.
Organizations can achieve savings through:
- Virtualization Assessment. IT should build a
business case for consolidating virtualized resources, including data centers,
servers and other devices using a virtual infrastructure.
- IT Recovery for virtualized platforms. IT
should plan for the recovery of both virtualized and physical systems across
multiple platforms. As part of this planning, assess the human element: does
the enterprise have enough hands to perform an effective recovery test replicating
a full-scale recovery, and the ability to manage an entire recovery process
end-to-end? The enterprise must be prepared for a hybrid recovery of a wide
variety of physical and virtual machines, and must overcome challenges like
recreating a multi-layer, multi-platform stack for each mission-critical app,
recovering mission-critical apps within the time requirements needed to avoid
negative consequences to the RTO, and avoiding huge capital outlays on CapEx
for building a secondary recovery site, and on OpEx for maintaining the site.
- Virtualization and the cloud. As an enterprise
grows its cloud environment, it should optimize for high availability,
automation, and scalability.
IT leaders are increasingly required
to focus their attention on investing time and effort toward ensuring constant,
high-performance availability of an organization's mission critical
applications. This focus encompasses the ability to better prepare for and
recover from disruptive events, and protect and sustain high-value services and
supporting assets-information, technology, facilities, and people-that are
essential to meet business objectives and satisfy budget demands. Moving into
2013, it is exciting to assist customers as they adjust to tapping their data
sets to improve their business, build toward resiliency by more tightly
integrating their virtualized environment, and gain more value from their IT
About the Author
Malik is Consulting Director for Data Center & Infrastructure Optimization
at SunGard Availability Services. Malik brings more than 15 years experience in managing and
developing methodologies to assess and architect very large scale and complex
this role, he consults with senior management at global
Fortune 100 companies to define, communicate and implement IT strategies.
Malik's projects include all aspects of enterprise infrastructure and insight
and solutions for both server and storage optimization projects.