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The balance of virtualization

All too often, virtualisation is like a see-saw. As hardware costs are reduced, administrative costs rise. As workloads and compute resources become more efficient, the overarching infrastructure becomes more complex. If organisations don’t get their arms around the administrative complexity that virtualisation introduces, they may never realise the cost savings, performance gains or efficiencies that these technologies can deliver.

But there are software tools that let organisations reap the benefits of virtualisation without increasing the cost or complexity of infrastructure management.

The balancing act

According to a recent IDC white paper sponsored by HP (, “Automating Datacenter Management: Consolidating Physical and Virtualized Infrastructures”, Doc 211831, April 2008) , “Virtualisation is having a profoundly positive impact on the ability of IT organisations to respond to business demands; the agility that the infrastructure provides offers faster deployment of IT services. However, the management of both physical and virtual infrastructures is an important area of investment to ensure availability, problem identification and resolution, and an IT service perspective.”

Like other IT innovations, virtualisation brought its own patchwork of specialty management and configuration tools. This led to an explosion of new and disconnected management tools—creating silos within silos.

“IDC believes that IT organisations must better prepare for and invest in management for the growing problem of VM sprawl that spans server, storage, desktop and application environments,” the IDC white paper states. “As virtualisation adoption continues to grow, IT executives must place a strategic emphasis on management to accelerate and extend the benefits of virtualisation over the long term.”

HP offers a comprehensive portfolio of software solutions that ease virtualisation complexity, says Bob Meyer, Business Technology Optimization solutions manager for HP. But they aren’t just virtualisation solutions.

“To realise the full potential of virtualisation technologies, organisations must overcome the lack of infrastructure visibility, incongruent tools and higher management costs they often introduce. And that means administering virtual and physical resources uniformly,” says Meyer. “HP Software solutions monitor, manage and automate key management functions seamlessly across physical and virtual worlds, directly addressing the unique challenges of virtualisation.”

The solution

The set of software solutions fall under HP’s Business Technology Optimisation, or BTO, strategy and portfolio for enterprise management and automation. It includes solutions such as Business Service Management (BSM), IT Service Management (ITSM), Business Service Automation (BSA) and Quality Management (QM). Together, they enable IT teams to allocate technology spending and resources based on business priorities; automate key processes across IT strategy, applications and operations; and measure technology effectiveness and efficiency from a business perspective.

“What may sound like a jumble of acronyms is in reality an elegant solution that enables IT to transform virtualisation from a tool into a business technology,” says Meyer.

With the combined solutions, virtualisation can help your IT organisation to:

• Create a common view of the business service across the IT environment

• Automate change across all of the devices making up the business service for cost efficiency

• Connect IT processes and coordinate siloed teams through a common workflow

• Integrate with monitoring and ticketing tools for a holistic service management solution

• Integrate problem and incident resolution processes across service desk and application support

• Continuously measure and optimise IT value to the business

• Mitigate risk by centralizing and enforcing processes

All told, organisations now have a way to fully realise the benefits of virtualisation—without increasing the cost or complexity of infrastructure management.

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