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Virtualisation will be universal business practise: GBM

Pappu Rao, director of technology services at Gulf Business Machines, says all of GBM’s 160 completed virtualisation projects have succeeded beyond expectations and believes it will soon transition from a trend into a universal business practice.

“I am very bullish on the fact that all of the projects we have done have been successful. In terms of success, whatever objectives these organisations set forward to achieve, they achieve that and far beyond that,” Rao said.

“There are challenges in between in terms of not having detailed amount of planning, but overall these projects have by far achieved their objectives. When it comes to cost saving, better manageability and ease of administration, all objectives have always been met,” he added.

With virtualisation being a necessary step for companies wanting to operate in a cloud environment, it is something all enterprises should be considering, Rao said.

“Virtualisation is already here to stay. It’s a prerequisite for cloud. That’s the way it’s going. In terms of adaptability of virtualisation in the region, we see the Emirates as pretty much in the forefront. There are no two ways about it; virtualisation and cloud computing will become a universal practise,” he added.

Despite singing the praises of virtualisation and the benefits it gives a business, Rao also emphasised the importance of recognising the challenges that exist in implementing it.

“We see varying degrees of maturity of customers in terms of skill levels and experience in virtualisation. Certain organisations are already ahead, but others are a bit late in catching up. Challenges come with how aligned the organisation’s virtualisation strategy is with their particular business strategy. Some organisations have a virtualisation strategy very aligned with their business objectives, but we don’t see that uniformly across all organisations,” he said.

“Also, companies have teams of people working on the several different area namely servers, storage, databases, applications and network. It’s imperative to have a strong project management from the customer side to actually make these guys talk to each other to enable a smooth implementation. In reality you will see these guys only operate in their silos and it becomes very important to have seamless flow of information,” he added.

However, regardless of these challenges, Rao said GBM still sees distinct patterns emerging in the areas of virtualisation and cloud.

“We see virtualisation emerging very strongly within small and medium sized enterprises. They are looking at it as a tool more for business agility and business continuity. We also see desktop virtualisation picking up. The third thing that we see is enterprises now looking at virtualisation as a journey into private cloud computing,” he said.

“They are looking at setting up private clouds and are experimenting with private clouds. We are working with organisations that have private clouds and they are trying to put less critical workloads and staging environments on the private cloud. So going forward over the next couple of years we’ll see private clouds here to stay. We still see issues around security and the question of standards, so we don’t see the uptake in public cloud services yet,” he added.

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