Cloud Computing is quite possibly the hottest, most discussed and often misunderstood concept in Information Technology (IT) today. In short, Cloud Computing proposes to transform the way IT it's deployed and managed, promising reduced implementation, maintenance costs and complexity, while accelerating innovation, providing faster timeto-market, and the ability to scale high-performance applications and infrastructures on demand.
Technology companies face many common challenges, whether they are in semiconductor devices or equipment, digital devices or network infrastructure, software or IT services.
Our consultants help CTOs and CIOs with major investment decisions that impact their company’s performance.
We help high-tech clients execute value-creating IT strategies and deploy technology to optimize operations and efficiency. We help consumer electronics players, device manufacturers, and software and online services providers transform their businesses. We help our clients make and execute informed, bold decisions in structuring their companies and portfolios to produce competitive advantage and lasting value.
We help enterprise hardware, software, and services companies address the opportunities and challenges created by new business models and technologies.
We help companies build marketing and sales capabilities, and develop and execute innovative strategies for sustainable growth.
We help simplify and evolve manufacturing, supply chain, and distribution processes that lead to significant competitive advantage.
Server virtualization is the most common, and involves splitting up a single physical server into several virtual servers. In desktop virtualization, a central server is divided up into multiple virtual desktop computers that are accessed remotely. Because of economies of scale, hardware and other savings may not materialize for small and medium businesses. Expert opinion is divided as to whether virtualization can pay for itself in environments with fewer than 20 servers. The biggest benefits are faster and cheaper backup and disaster recovery, scalability and greater technical potential and flexibility.
Benefits are most likely to be in TCO rather than direct, immediate savings in, say, hardware and energy costs.
Imagine the average single-application server as a single employee kicking around in a huge office. Some brave souls try to improve resource utilization by running several applications on one server.
This is the most common, and involves splitting up a single physical server into several virtual servers. For large data centres and companies with more than 50 servers, virtualization has become pretty much a no-brainer, offering significant cost reductions and rapid ROI. It’s far less clear whether virtualization can pay for itself in environments with less than 20 servers, let alone the more typical small business environment with perhaps 1 to 6 servers.

If a company is starting a network from scratch, it might well make financial sense to virtualize rather than buying multiple conventional servers that will each run at 10-15% capacity.
Whether or not virtualization will be of benefit depends very much on the specifics of the business - its needs, plans, budget and situation. There’s surprisingly little to say on this topic, despite the fact that a certain amount has been written about it. The main reason, though, is that in general, virtualization technology is still too heavyweight for most smaller companies.
Our expertise and insights, developed through serving high-tech companies and large-enterprise IT users, give us a rich understanding of the dynamic nature of the technology landscape and the complexity involved in using technology to deliver real value and impact. This person does his or her specific work effectively, but most of the office space is wasted.
But having ten people doing different jobs in a single huge office is awkward and causes problems with space utilization, boundaries and resource allocation. Each cubicle worker has a specific job, clearly demarcated space and resources, and is separately managed.
For small and medium businesses, though, the most important types are server and desktop virtualization.
Fewer physical machines mean less physical infrastructure – meaning lower purchase costs and less maintenance. Virtualization uses fewer servers, and uses them better, but because they need to be more powerful, the reduction in total hardware costs may not be as dramatic as expected. Virtualization increases complexity on a computer, making it harder to manage and troubleshoot, particularly if it is not properly set up and documented.
Some vendors may not be willing or able to support their software if it is running on a virtual server. Operators of virtualized systems have to manage and document virtual environments properly.
Desktop virtualization solutions let administrators manage user desktops centrally, making it easier to keep desktops updated and secure. In the virtualized desktop environment, a user with a virus infection doesn’t have to wait days for the infection to be cleaned out.
The downside of that is that users lose their flexibility and customization – much of the reason that the computing world moved from mainframes to PC in the first place. In most cases, though, there’s an existing network, and the cost of replacing it is high. Not to belabour the point, but this is probably the biggest advantage of virtualization for the typical small business. Servers can be added and removed, test servers can be created, and computers can be rolled back to previous versions. One reason is that this really is a decision that has to be made on a case-by-case basis, with the specifics of each company’s needs and budget taken into account.

The pace of change is rapid and driven by the unrelenting velocity of technology, the emergence of new competitors, the evolution of customer needs and expectations, and business-model innovations that reverberate across the world. We help high-tech companies around the world innovate, improve operations, and deliver value—from early-stage companies to multinational software, hardware, and services providers.
Next-door is another huge office, with another employee performing another specialized function. The entire office benefits from unified management – heating, cooling, security and so on. It makes huge sense for data centres and large companies in particular, and continues to gain ground. The images can be restored onto dissimilar hardware, unlike conventional backups, which often can’t.
Desktop virtualization takes data off individual workstations and laptops, removing the risk of data loss through physical theft or loss of desktop machines.
If the virtualized server is hosted remotely, adequate and redundant bandwidth are needed, and this can push up running costs. New forms of attack could target the virtualization software itself – though so far this has not happened.
If they don’t, they could end up with a messy jumble of virtual machines that can be costly in terms of time and unnecessary licences. Instead, a new clean image can simply be installed and the user can be up and running almost instantly. In the conventional environment, users can still work offline during an Internet outage, or other users can continue to work when one desktop is down.
Our technology clients value our strategic understanding of their business and our operational ability to drive to concrete results across the entire value chain—innovation and R&D, manufacturing, supply chain and sourcing, and sales and marketing. Virtualized hardware works hard and is more cost-effective, particularly if it is running many virtual servers. This is a significant downside and no virtualized system should be put in place without proper contingency planning. In this situation, there is simply nothing anyone can do until the server or network is back up.
This provides a working service while the primary computer is restored, and dramatically reduces downtime. Virtual test machines can be created almost instantly so that testing can be done without any disruption of live machines. It’s also very fast and easy to roll back a computer to a previous version, instead of having to fix it in, say, the case of a virus infection.

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