Cloud based virtualization is being touted as the way to go.  It is seen as the next big wave in virtualization. Significant cost efficiencies and other benefits are being claimed such as smaller footprints, less power consumption or manageability of scalable, flexible infrastructures.  Surveys (by IDC and others) indicate that many top IT leaders plan to increase their virtualization budgets in 2013 and beyond; and approximately 73% of the server workloads may be transferred to the virtual environment as against 56% in 2012. This is a 90% increase that cannot be ignored.

Cloud virtualization is lowering the total cost of ownership.  There are fewer infrastructures to manage. Licensing fees and price per server are lowered. Database consolidation is almost automatic. Power consumption is reduced. Networks become flatter. Resource sharing is enabled. Management interfaces are centralized. Virtual server density can be increased on demand. Workloads and mission-critical applications benefit from virtualization. Optimization efforts are rewarded. Client virtualization with flexibility becomes a reality.  Business agility is exploitable.

Virtualization is enabling new paradigms. Control over BYOD (Bring your own device) is improving. Next generation agility is being built into mobile applications for the widespread global organization.  Data analytics, strategic data management systems and self service models are being increasingly designed for physical and virtual environments to meet the needs of the modern day businesses. Business initiatives in the cloud-private, public or hybrid—can now select the appropriate virtualized platform and successfully take the business to the next level of integration and consolidation.

Interestingly, there seems to be no question around “whether to virtualize”. The focus seems to be on what to “virtualize”, how much to “virtualize”, and how to go about virtualization! Cloud virtualization is crumbling technology barriers, and taking the small and medium organizations into business arenas that were earlier the play fields of large enterprises. The expansion of capabilities does not automatically result in a linear expansion of expenses!

A word of caution, however. There are a number of pitfalls that will have to be watched for.  Make sure all your eggs are not in one basket.  Virtualization is good only so long as there is a disaster recovery strategy in place. It is also important to train the staff to assume their new roles and hit the ground running with implementation of virtualization.