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February - 2009 - issue > CEO Spot Light
Union of Two Hot Technologies in the Offing
Sameer Dholakia
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
At a time when organizations are frantically trying to cut costs and trim their budgets, 2009 will witness the union of two of the hottest technologies in the market today – enterprise server virtualization and utility style cloud computing; each a powerful technology and when combined they result in cloud-centric enterprise virtualization, a transformative and disruptive force for change that will revolutionize and optimize IT resources, processes, and the workforce as we know it today.

Over the past year we have seen server virtualization turn mainstream in the corporate data center. The majority of CIOs and IT managers who were earlier skeptical spectators have now become active adopters of and advocates for server virtualization. This trend will be greatly accelerated when dramatic cost cutting imperatives are unleashed by the realities of the economic downturn go into full effect across the IT landscape. Cloud computing and virtualization are remarkably synergistic and complementary technologies, and IT managers who choose to ignore or are slow to adopt this powerful combination risk placing their companies at massive competitive disadvantage.

An increasing number of software applications will not only be focused on enabling cloud computing, but on leveraging it as well. Cloud infrastructures are compelling because they are available securely, on-demand, and at a low cost while meeting a high level of performance requirements and service level agreements. However, in spite of all of this, for the successful integration of the cloud with the on-premise infrastructure, it is required that providers present a lock-in free and easily migrateable option to potential customers. The external cloud infrastructure should have exportable and simplified meta data of the applications and services. Customers should be able to extend to other external cloud providers if necessary, without requiring cumbersome rework. The capability to easily operate the external cloud as a logical extension of the internal cloud and data center will be central to adoption and growth. Cloud-centric enterprise virtualization promises to deliver tremendous business value and agility to enterprises through cost saving, operational nimbleness, and ultimate flexibility.

However, the single greatest challenge facing entrepreneurs will be the global economic crisis that many predict to last at least the year, if not longer. There will be an increase in companies going bankrupt, therefore the most successful entrepreneurs will be the ones that can help organizations reduce costs and increase efficiencies. For entrepreneurs looking for financing, it will be incredibly difficult. Companies will lay off staff to cut costs at a much higher rate, and many of these former employees will start their own businesses and inevitably look to raise capital. The resulting environment will be one of increased competition for shrinking pools of venture capital funding as the investors become even more protective of their assets. Despite all these challenges, our past experience shows that some of the best ideas and companies are built during downturns.

The author is CEO, VMLogix. MLogix provides software solutions that help IT organizations leverage virtualization to consolidate lab infrastructure and automate, build, and test processes so that software can be delivered more effectively
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