Making Virtualisation Viable

Thu, 2009/02/05

Nobody can dispute the host the benefits virtualisation brings to enterprises looking to consolidate their investments in hardware, make better use of existing resources and reduce complexity in their data centre environment.

Few organisations have however been brave enough to virtualise all of the applications housed in their data centres.

“That’s because up until last year those companies would have to be comfortable with housing their most mission critical applications on commodity hardware” says Dick Sharod, country manager for Stratus Technologies in South Africa.

Sharod says that the company’s recent announcement of its full support of VMWare – a firm favourite with most CIOs looking to consolidate their server investments today – changes that scenario. “Stratus has immediately made virtualisation a viable option for customers’ most mission critical applications,” Sharod says.

“Today companies, regardless of vertical can put our infrastructure into a data centre environment and through VMWare, run more than one application and its operating system securely and fault tolerantly next to another.

“It’s a big step for us and a massive leap forwards in terms of what customers can do with our technology” he says.

Immediately, Sharod says that his company’s value proposition to its traditional customer base, namely large telcos, financial institutions and other large enterprises, has been bolstered.

“Generally our customers buy Stratus because they have applications that quite simply can’t experience downtime,” he explains, “and because our servers are configured to cope with the maximum load that application is likely to place on the hardware and still not go down, there are times when their resources might be under utilised.

“With virtualisation in the picture, that need not be the case,” he says. “At those quiet times, customers can transition workloads they would normally have run on commodity hardware to the Stratus servers, thus guaranteeing those applications are safe from downtime while running on the Stratus infrastructure.

“And the really smart customers will use this functionality to unlock even more competitive advantage,” he says. “By simply reorganising their business models slightly, organisations can ensure that they have continuous availability for their most mission critical applications, at the most mission critical times of the month.

“It extends the ‘making better use of your existing hardware’ concept brought to the table by virtualisation in a completely different realm,” he says.

Stratus’s move into the virtualised server space doesn’t just hold benefits for customers in the enterprise space however.

Sharod says that organisations with medium-sized server fleets can now also begin considering the benefits offered by its continuous availability infrastructure.

“Virtualisation allows companies to move from a multiple server environment to a single server environment,” he says, “and by using our technology in combination with VMWare’s suite of solutions, these companies can build less complex environments with less servers in them while at the same time taking advantage of continuous uptime.

“Where they before would maybe not have been capable of justifying the spend on a Stratus box, with virtualisation in the picture it’s a far more viable avenue.

“We believe our new value proposition holds excellent value in anyone’s books,” he concludes.