Virtualization Is No FadBy Dave Sobel | Posted 2009-10-30 Email Print
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Virtualization is an investment in the future, reducing the total cost of ownership, making an environment more flexible and capable, and offering the ability to migrate and control workloads with much greater precision.
Gartner released some great information about their predictions on server virtualization.
Although server virtualization is not currently as widespread as many presume, the market is growing rapidly, according to Gartner, Inc. Only 16 percent of workloads are running in virtual machines today, but Gartner predicts that this will rise to around 50 percent of x86 architecture server workloads by the end of 2012, representing approximately 58 million deployed machines.
What I particularly love about data like this is that this kind of analysis is industry wide. The article goes on to discuss how the SMB market has been slow to start, and makes a recommendation to "start small", focusing on "a specific project but builds towards a wider strategic plan that includes management and process changes."
Thinking about this in more detail, the field is wide open. With only 16% of workloads in a virtual environment, there is a lot of opportunity. In a presentation with IBM I did this past summer, they quoted that 70% of all workloads are capable of being virtualized. There is a lot of potential in this market.
The key to having customers consider a virtualized environment is not focusing on the technology, but rather on the benefits, capabilities, and savings. Virtualization is an investment in the future, reducing the total cost of ownership, making an environment more flexible and capable, and offering the ability to migrate and control workloads with much greater precision.
With this much available opportunity, solution providers need to start now to be training their sales and technical people on how best to engage. If your techs aren’t thinking of virtualizing everything, then something is wrong. Sales people should love this – it’s high-value consulting work, with real benefits to customers and cost savings over time.
Start with your technical team, because they need to believe in the solution and be able to deploy it before you can sell it. Invest in teaching server consolidation and how to migrate to virtualized environments. These are key areas to start, and relevant all the way to the small business. With this core technical capability, you can move onto your sales team, and educating them not only on what your technical team can do, but the value to the customer. "Why should a customer care" and "how will this make them more money or save them money" should be core themes of your training.
Virtualization isn’t a fad – if you think it is, you can borrow my DeLorean and go back to ask those who said the web would be a passing fad in the late 90s. They turned out to be spot on, didn’t they?
The Gartner report closes by stating how it is "important to understand that virtualization is not cloud computing, but it enables and forces the same changes required to effectively leverage cloud computing and as such, virtualization leads inexorably to cloud computing." Not only is it good for the customer now, it’s good for the customer later. This means it’s good for the solution provider now, and later.