By now, big data is much more than a passing trend. Businesses are making the most of the information they have on hand, analyzing it to gain insights about a range of critical processes and market conditions. What's more, enterprises are gathering more data all the time. Over the next four years, the digital universe will likely expand from 4.4 zettabytes to 44 zettabytes. This translates to 44 trillion – yes, trillion, with a T – gigabytes of information, according to Forbes. After all, more data has been created over the past three years than was created from the dawn of human civilization to 2013.
While big data is enabling businesses to glean more acuity than ever thought possible, it's also presenting specific challenges when it comes to storage. What's a business to do with the ever-expanding portfolio of data it gathers and analyzes?
This is where virtualization comes into the picture, and becomes such a valuable part of corporate IT. Virtualization doesn't just have the power to transform an enterprise's infrastructure and better support its IT team, it can also save the company a considerable amount of money. Who doesn't love a little extra jingle in their pocket at the end of the day?
Virtualization has the power to lessen spending in a number of areas.
"Well, virtualization significantly reduces capital and operational expenditure costs with automation, requires less hardware (and related expenses, including maintenance and utilities), and increases staff productivity business-wide thanks to simplified management options," Hewlett Packard Enterprise has explained.
But what, exactly, does that mean? Let's break it down:
Consolidated hardware: Virtualization enables businesses to make the best possible use of their computing resources, allowing them to consolidate the total number of servers in their infrastructure. Computerworld reported that about 30 percent of all physical servers in data centers are zombies. In other words, these machines are consuming power, but aren't contributing anything in the way of computing workloads – the lights are on, but nobody's home.
With virtualization, businesses can create virtual environments to house their workloads, allowing the IT team to ditch these zombie servers altogether.
"30 percent of all physical servers in data centers are zombies."
Reduced spending: Removing these servers comes with a number of benefits. Not only does this create a leaner, meaner IT infrastructure overall, but the company can reduce its spending in several areas. By utilizing available hardware to the fullest, the business can lessen its upfront investments in new hardware. In addition, the organization can also enjoy savings on utilities.
Remember when you were young and your mom would yell at you to turn off the light when you left a room? This is somewhat similar. Getting rid of zombie servers means the company doesn't have to pay for the power those machines were consuming. Instead, its utility expenditures are completely dedicated to servers supporting virtualized environments – no wasted resources here.
A boost in productivity: Hewlett Packard Enterprise wasn't kidding when it noted that virtualization can lead to an increase in productivity. This is particularly true when it comes to the company's internal IT team.
Fewer servers means less work for the IT team. Instead of trying to maintain a range of physical server environments, IT staff can focus more on the few machines supporting the company's virtual environments.
Automation also comes into play here, taking important tasks off the IT team's shoulders while still ensuring their completion according to schedule. Software updates, for example, can be automated so that they are delivered on time, and during a period that won't interrupt critical business process. Best of all, with an automation strategy in place, IT staff doesn't have to install these updates or patches manually.
This all translates to one beautiful thing: more time for the IT team. With this extra time on their hands, IT staff members can focus on other mission-critical tasks, further improving the company's technological systems.
There's no doubt about it – virtualization has the potential to save your company a considerable amount of capital and resources. To find out more, contact iT1 Source, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Gold Partner and industry-leading provider of virtualization solutions, today.