Moving to virtualisation technology will ultimately help cloud computing to become more established, but one vendor believes the cloud won’t reach a tipping point in the Irish market for another two years.
Research from Citrix into how companies view virtualisation has found that interest in cloud computing is growing. In an independent survey of more than 700 CIOs worldwide, close to half said they intend to implement virtualisation to aid cloud computing efforts.
To date, around two-thirds of companies use some level of server or desktop virtualisation but only one third have already deployed it as part of a broader cloud computing strategy.
The survey results also show virtualisation investment plans will increase significantly between 2010 and 2014, with server and desktop virtualisation rollouts dominating CIO plans.
Cost saving continues to be the main benefit of the technology, with the respondents estimating that virtualisation is helping to achieve cost reductions of 16pc for the organisation. By 2014, those polled said they expect that figure to increase to 27pc.
By 2014, 26pc of respondents predicted that virtualisation technologies would make up a quarter of their total IT investment, up considerably from just 0-5pc of budgets currently.
Almost two thirds of companies (62.5pc) intend to begin server virtualisation projects in the next 18 months, while 33.4pc intend to explore desktop virtualisation in the same timescale. Desktop virtualisation is newer technology and not as well established as server or storage virtualisation. According to the CIOs polled for the survey, the main benefits of virtualising desktops are faster desktop deployment, the ability for staff to access from any location on any device, better data security and improved access control.
“Virtualisation will be the stepping stone towards cloud computing as it separates and virtualises various components such as operating systems and applications and centralises them in the data centre,” said Niall Gilmore, country manager at Citrix Ireland.
However he cautioned that moves towards cloud computing are still some time away, especially while regulatory questions such as ownership of data in the cloud and whose role it is to ensure compliance, remain unresolved.
Traction in the Irish marketplace
“It will be at least two years before the internet-based computing model will gain traction in the Irish market place,” said Gilmore.
Francis O’Haire, technical director with the technology distributor Data Solutions, said one of the advantages of virtualisation is that it offers short-term benefits, while also making IT infrastructure more ready to be moved to the cloud at some point in the future.
“Organisations can benefit from the economics and flexibility of cloud computing within their own private cloud through virtualisation and this enables them to scale or migrate this out to a public cloud infrastructure when the time is right or the need arises,” said O’Haire.