The cloud computing marketplace is becoming more competitive each day as SMEs and large scale corporations look to cut down IT operational costs while maintaining/improving the quality of their services. This is where virtualization is playing a key role, allowing businesses to cut down costs with better utilization of servers.
But virtualization comes with its own set of challenges. Several factors have to be considered, such as how to integrate future expansion, how to show improvements in capacity when the infrastructure is updated and how to ensure the security of all the servers in operation… It’s not easy.
Taking the challenges into account, there are ways to improve the ROI on cloud projects, overcome virtualization defies and cut down costs. They include:
1. Utilize a Single System for All Collaboration needs
Cloud Connect conducted a survey last year titled ‘Enterprise Cloud Adoption Survey’, which revealed that 57% of the companies who were part of the survey have already deployed a cloud/ SaaS product in their operations, while 38% businesses are soon looking to integrate cloud technology.
However, those who have recently been adapting or looking to adapt can easily increase their cloud computing costs by deploying multiple servers for collaboration. In reality, a single server is enough for most of your collaboration data needs. It can act as a central system where all documentation, files and communication data is stored. Using a single system will also streamline collaboration processes and increase the efficiency of the system.
2. Add Security to the Investment in Virtualization
The goal of virtualizing business cloud computing is accompanied by security risks. Recently, Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) published a report ‘The Notorious Nine’, identifying the top 9 security threats cloud computing will face in 2013. The report specifically focuses on the platform’s on-demand nature and the process of virtualization. Some new threats include traffic hijacking, data breaches and shield vulnerabilities, underscoring the importance of security solutions.
There are several security solutions for virtual environments, but a program that comes with advanced security options is recommended over conventional offerings. This is because it can prevent data breaches and cloud computing disruptions without requiring immediate patching. Security integrated with virtualization will also improve densities (VM) and performance.
3. Reduce Storage Costs
S3 controls related to lifecycle and other storage costs can quickly add up especially when the business is undergoing the growth phase. And a low price on a cloud server doesn’t necessarily mean that storage costs are going to be low as well. The best approach to ensure that storage costs don’t expand overtime requires the business to partner with a company that offers a ‘consumption based model’ of storage.
This model means the business only owns a specific percentage of the total infrastructure (the main concept of the cloud) and only pays for the resources they use. Other ways to reduce storage costs is to ensure ongoing maintenance and perhaps consider Glacier and RRS transitions.
4. Use All of the Resources
It is common to see businesses under-utilize the actual percentage of resources available in the cloud project despite attempting to ‘virtualize’. There are some services that offer dynamic on-demand resource availability statistics, and companies can also directly contact service providers to check available sources.
It is important to be vigilant with resource use. Make sure that most of them are bring used; the ones that are not should be powered off through the data center environment.