The IT industry is notorious for creating hype around new technologies. Many of these technologies live up to the hype and result in tangible benefits for businesses, but an equal amount are quickly forgotten. So how can businesses see beyond the hype and develop the ‘perfect computing environment’ that will be agile, cost-efficient, reliable and green without compromising performance?
Such an environment has been something of a Holy Grail for years, but the potential of company-wide virtualisation is making this dream a distinct possibility. It has also opened up a whole range of sales opportunities for the channel, not seen since the introduction of the first Windows-based servers.
According to research firm IDC, there are several factors that are likely to drive the growth of virtualisation over the next two years: data protection and availability, usability and change management. These are all aspects that have needed time to develop in line with virtual technology, and now they are coming to fruition. Now that vendors can supply the channel with these technologies, the channel must ensure they take advantage of them.
The combination of thin-client computing, virtualised desktops and virtual servers gives a level of flexibility and control that never existed before, but more is needed to produce a full desktop-to-database environment at an enterprise level. It is here that resellers and distributors can really make a difference, as well as a decent margin.
Resellers must consider the future when looking at virtualisation. Twelve months ago, it might have been easy to recommend a VMWare solution without even considering alternatives, but a range of alternatives have matured to the point where they can’t be ignored. In particular, Citrix’ XenSource offers the best opportunity to create a full desktop-to-datacentre infrastructure.
Resellers need to consider the client’s requirements and then select the right virtualisation solution that delivers real business value, not just hype. By doing this, the reseller community can provide its clients with the level of operability and flexibility that they have always wanted, and itself with the best margins.
Nick Turnbull is EMEA director of sales for Marathon Technologies
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