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Virtualization Planning: ITP.NET Opinions; Multiplier effect and my advice for 2008

I am tagging this under opinions. Why, because I don't seem to agree with these:

Lost in the hype, says Ayass, is a precise definition of what virtualisation exactly is: "It's a tool that customers can use to simplify their IT computing environment. So it's not one software, one hardware - it's a methodology. When you virtualise, you consolidate, saving money, space and cost and make your IT computing infrastructure simpler."
No, wrong answer. It is about Business Process Development. That is what CxOs are facing challenges with. The convergence of many domains (business and IT, to name the important two) and sub-domains or embedded-domains within the enterprise is the REAL challenge.

I talk to business leaders on a daily basis. Our Avastu Team is also launched, I just didn't feel the need of making a big issue out of it, but we get questions all the time. All the time! And what we notice is that the CxOs and IT managers need to make the decision today! I mean that they want to get started but really don't know where to start. They do have the tools (Virtualization vendor, be it VMware, Virtual Iron, Xen etc), it is time to start seeing them as processes because it is only then you will se their true value as "True Integrators" or "Synthesizers" to your business. When you see that, then you will get started despite the fact that some of those process integrators are yet to be developed/ shipped (eg: VMLM, Change Management, ChargeBack, Auditing, Policy, Accountability, etc). You will be able to move in the right directions.

So here's my adivce :

  • Talk to execute: Many consultants and customers are engaged in talks but are not reaching an execution point. So you either are not serious OR your consultants are just raking those extra dollars and enjoying a free-ride at your expense.
  • Get started, run a pilot and measure: I always say, that Virtualization is the integrator. You need to really run it to see its true value. Talking makes no sense because your next consulting engagement will be on a different level, you have noticed how fast this
  • Accept the fact that Test, Development, Staging & Production need to be there: Really, many organizations are not seeing the wholeness of what virtualization has to offer. Every organization must have these environments. Why? because every organization needs to understand its customers and in order to do that you need a platform that offers seamlessness across domains. This will help your employees come in terms with the customer and internal requirements. People will see processes and appreciate the real value of working efficiently and effectively. And still be able to contribute to the vision of the firm. Messing around in the production is so 90s!
  • Think of the next level: You are in highly competitive market. Many siloed organizations, like the education sector, gov sector are rather slow in picking up the new technologies, they have a lesser business approach to their activities but with increasing globalization, every market, every sector is threatened. Don't rely on defaults, pick the "Business Agility Agents" like virtualization and start reshaping your activities. Many of you know that it is time for an architectural overhaul
  • CxOs, Talk to your IT staff and do the Walkabout: In many occasions you will see them experimenting with these technologies. These are smart and intelligent poeple. They are all minimum B.Sc level folks, they follow news. They know stuff! Help them help you. My approach has been simple, even the hardest and the most "anti-new-stuff" environment (believe me, I've see the most difficult environment) have "believers" in them. Use them, your business needs them. Do the walkabout and If they need to be told, so be it. You cannot afford to keep waiting. You have waited long enough.
  • Benchmark your applications Before and After Virtualization: This way you can eliminate issues around your support. Some virtualization vendors are more than happy to solve your application problems, but your staff or your IT organization. You will also be surprised how much or little many of your IT staff know about your own applications/business process. Use this "system integrator" to help to re-assess your assets. You people, your apps are your assets!
  • Internal Sourcing: Many organizations take radical steps to out-source their IT as it is a better option financially. I would suggest a new approach. Source it to your current IT dept! They need to conform to new SLAs. You will be surprised with the results. Sure, we do understand, when you really want to move away your IT work to another location.
  • Run a "Cultural detective" test : You will be surprised how much it can help you. People need to understand that they are living in a new brave world where markets are flatter then ever. Do a "cultural detective" program.
  • Keep everyone on "tap": Keeping people on "top" is fine but that often leads to the "protectionist stance". You just can't afford to create monsters anymore. People need to work, at all levels. Being result oriented always helps.
  • Do Virtualization is small, effective, measurable steps: Do the pilot, stop, evaluate, have a blast. Do test environment, stop-integrate-evaluate-next step. Do development-stop-integrate-evaluate-next step. And so on...
  • Do Desktop virtualization: Your desktops are holding a lot of undocumented resources, a lot of unused (if not misused) resources. You should start with a desktop pilot as soon as possible. Go to zero-clients right away.
  • Do understand your Energy Responsibility: A lot of warmth, CPU, Memory and Storage is going wasted in space. Put it to good use, push it towards your data center if necessary. Warm up a swimming pool nearby (we really do that from our data center to our Academic Block that has sport studies and is building a large pool out there)
Hope this can help you through the 2008. A Very Happy & Prosperous New Year 2008 from Avastu Team!

PS: This is the original article, but I'm sure my advice will keep you coming back for more ;-), See you next year!

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