Cloud or Server Virtualisation: Which is Right for You?

In 2011, Australia only hit 63.3% of its cloud growth expectations, according to a Computerworld story. This means many Aussie organisations aren’t competing at their full potential — especially in the international market where cloud computing continues its growth at a much higher rate. But it also means many nationalorganisations have found solutions that provide all the agility needed without opting for the cloud, usually thanks to server virtualisation.

Through server virtualisation, the process of running multiple individual computing environments from a single server, many organisations wonder why opting for a cloud solution is worth it. After all, do they need a cloud solution’s large data centre when, through server visualisation, they have more horsepower under the hood than they’ll likely ever need?

In the end, the best solution is a tailored solution. The key isn’t asking if it’s one or the other — it’s asking which functions are best meant for the cloud and which flourish in visualised server environments. For example, you might ask:

  • Will this project be customer-facing and focused on aggressive growth, or is this project dedicated for a static internal audience?
  • If for a current function, is it meeting the needs of your organisation and/or customers? If not, what needs are not currently addressed?
  • What are the applications or data that you need to support?
  • Do you have the core competency, resources and technical expertise to manage scaling large amounts of data in-house?
  • What are your demands for server workload?
  • What are your requirements for disaster recovery?

You can probably guess which answers will lead you to a virtualised server and which to a cloud solution. Before you buy, it’s worthwhile tapping into IT consultants who can conduct an in-depth discovery to learn which option — or which combination — suits your organisation. As a one-stop solution, a professional services team should not only determine the right solution, but implement it, test it and support it. 

As you begin researching your options, remember to think about the future. Organisations must anticipate their storage and computing power needs two to three years down the line to ensure their investment makes sense.

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