How to maintain business continuity with a virtualized infrastructure

The benefits of virtualization are well known at this point. It’s not like it’s a new technology. It’s been an industry standard for the last five or six years, if not longer. However, we’re still seeing some mid-market customers that are hesitant to jump on the virtualization bandwagon. While many of these organizations don’t have a robust Fortune 50-type infrastructure, that doesn’t mean they can’t benefit from virtualization.

Those benefits are extensive. For example, the consolidation of an organization’s IT infrastructure, and anytime, anywhere access to its applications.

The main concern frequently expressed in our conversations with customers who are considering a switch to virtualization is in regards to business continuity. IT is being challenged more than ever to assure critical applications are always available to support lines of business.

Business continuity relies on access, and there’s no better platform for providing that access than a virtualized infrastructure. Employees require access to the applications they need to be productive, and customers must have access to the information they rely on to run their organization. Think about how much business would be affected if an organization’s email server went down for three or four hours. That’s lost worker productivity. Not to mention, if a customer had a complaint and couldn’t get it answered in time, he’d likely move on to a different vendor. Imagine how a financial company would be impacted if their e-commerce site went down.

Virtualized infrastructure can offer almost zero downtime and high availability of all servers, turning an IT team loose to provide strategic business value instead of keeping up with daily demand. As a result we typically see customers meeting business requirements at a fairly low cost, spending less time trying to put out daily fires, and managing more workloads with a higher level of productivity.

Virtualizing IT and potentially migrating business apps to the cloud might sound all well and good, but what happens when an organization’s employees start connecting their personal devices to secure web apps hosted in the cloud? This is where another common concern comes in. Companies want to empower employees to be productive and work when and how they want to. IT wants to lock down employees to assure adherence to security policies.

This is the missing piece to the BYOD argument. It’s not the devices that are the problem; it’s the network they’re connected to. Build an infrastructure with the mobile workplace in mind and it’ll perform exactly as it should. That way, instead of doing damage control and plugging holes in a company’s security policy, the correct infrastructure and application permissions are already properly implemented. At the end of the day, it’s about delivering the tools employees need, when and where they need them, so they can be productive and meet the business objectives they are hired to do. IT is responsible for making sure applications and data can be delivered securely to any device, anytime, anywhere.

So when it comes to business continuity and empowering the mobile workforce, leveraging a highly virtualized environment is the foundation of building a modern infrastructure that can adapt to ever changing IT landscapes and business requirements.

To see some of SHI’s solutions to maintaining business continuity, check out our Design Center Infrastructure, Design and Implementation Services, and Cloud Solutions.

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