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A look at virtualization: Trends, benefits and predictions

Virtualization may have been a buzzword in the past, but the concept has come a long way in the last few years. Experts are predicting that its development will continue and will likely bring a number of new opportunities next year.

Virtualization: The basics
Before we get to those predictions, let’s first lay the groundwork. Virtualization isn’t just a one-trick pony – it can offer a range of different functionalities depending on an organization’s needs. For example, there’s server virtualization, network virtualization and storage virtualization, as well as desktop and application virtualization.

“Virtualization isn’t just a one trick pony – it can offer a range of different functionalities depending on an organization’s needs.”

However, the basic concept behind all these uses is largely the same. Overall, virtualization refers to the creation of a virtual environment in which technological processes take place as opposed to a purely physical environment. TechTarget’s Margaret Rouse noted that styles of virtualization have been around for nearly a decade, and that the approach has been widely adopted, particularly when it comes to network, storage and server virtualization.

Why virtualize?
There are many benefits to leveraging a virtual system instead of one created with physical components. For our purposes here, let’s take a look at the reasons and advantages connected with server virtualization. According to InfoWorld contributor David Marshall, server virtualization provides a number of benefits, including:

  • The ability to reduce a data center’s footprint
  • Saving energy for increased sustainability
  • Increased server uptime
  • Enhanced disaster recovery processes

With these in mind, it’s easy to see why a group would pursue a server virtualization strategy.

A growing market
Adoption of all types of virtualization has been on the rise recently, and experts predict that the market will expand in the near future as more organizations begin to leverage virtual environments. A report from SNS Research noted that the virtualization market, including software-defined networking and network functions virtualization, will likely be a nearly $4 billion industry by the end of 2014. What’s more is that this sector is forecasted to increase at a compound annual growth rate of almost 60 percent through 2020. Overall, the approach could save service providers as much as $32 billion in annual capital expense investments over the next six years. With such an opportunity for savings, it’s understandable that virtualization is an attractive opportunity for vendors.

Virtualization involves the creation of a virtual environment for computing processes.

Expert predictions: What’s coming in 2015
Currently, there are several top providers of virtualization equipment, including VMware and Cisco. Recently, Maish Saidel-Keesing, platform architect at Cisco’s video technologies sector in Israel, made a few predictions about what’s in store for virtualization in the coming year.

Saidel-Keesing told TechTarget that over the next few months, spinning disk storage will be largely replaced by all flash array storage configurations. This provides a faster base for storage virtualization.

In addition, Saidel-Keesing doesn’t think software defined networking will catch on as quickly as many think.

“SDN will still be a buzzword but the number of companies actually adopting it will not be as high as many vendors hope,” Saidel-Keesing noted. “Overlay networks are not as simple as anyone would make them out to be. Even more important are the organizational changes needed to accommodate such a mindset.”

Finally, he predicted that OpenStack will continue its upward trajectory, and will likely become the go-to standard for private cloud infrastructures.

There are all kinds of virtualization techniques that can bring vast benefits for organizations across industrial sectors. It is in these groups’ best interest to explore their options and partner with a top virtualization provider to help ensure their success.

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