The Role of the Network in Virtualization
From Silos to a Service-Oriented Infrastructure
By: Peter Linkin
Apr. 28, 2008 10:00 AM
Virtualization is becoming an increasingly important concept, not only to IT staffs, but to CIOs and line-of-business managers as well. Aspects of the "new economy" that contribute to the need for virtualization range from a globally distributed workforce of users who expect more control over when and how they work, to an increasing emphasis on service, worldwide competition, and the notion of the "borderless enterprise," where employees, customers, and partners share significant information and business processes. Another contributing factor is IT complexity involving power and cooling limits, low asset utilization, manual provisioning, inside and outside security, and Web-based applications.
To address these expansive changes, the IT infrastructure needs to evolve from an "accidental architecture" that delivers basic connectivity to silo'd departments with fortress-like barriers into an agile, resilient, and adaptive architecture that delivers service orchestration through integrated teams and service level agreements (SLAs) with enterprise-wide collaboration. IT then becomes a business unit that delivers services to improve the enterprise rather than burdening it as a cost center.
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