Riaan de LeeuwRiaan de Leeuw

The core challenge organisations encounter when building a virtual infrastructure is maintaining a smooth transition from the physical environment to the virtual one.

That’s the opinion of Riaan de Leeuw, unified infrastructure group sales manager of EMC Southern Africa, who says it’s important to ensure business processes are not disrupted during the transition. “

"Thorough, detailed planning is the only way to achieve this,” he says. “Through readiness assessments, EMC is able to provide guidance on how to best service the infrastructure, as well as how to incorporate best practices into the new environment. We can also engage with the customer in building this vision using EMC’s ready-made solutions such as the Vblock infrastructure platforms and VSPEX, a best practice architecture for the virtual environment. As a channel-only offering, VSPEX reinforces EMC’s channel programme.”

Commenting on the benefits of implementing a virtual infrastructure, De Leeuw points out that the three main challenges in IT are reduced budgets, the data explosion and .

“Virtual infrastructure offers a solid platform from which to deliver IT-as-a- Service (ITaaS), which positions IT to deliver against service level agreements for the business. This has a direct impact on profitability,” he says. Further benefits of a virtual infrastructure include ease of management and accessibility to unified storage platforms, which have the capability to consolidate data onto a single storage platform, thereby delivering an immediate cost saving. Ultimately, virtual infrastructures provide the scalability, growth, agility and flexibility required to expand in line with changing business needs.

Once the organisation has clearly defined a vision for its virtual infrastructure, De Leeuw recommends following three phases: bringing all data into a consolidated infrastructure; virtualising mission-critical applications; and fully automating the virtual infrastructure to deliver functional agility and quality in line with business demands.

“A unified storage solution plays a crucial role in this process, because it makes it possible for all the data sets generated by the business to be migrated into a single storage solution,” De Leeuw says. “EMC’s solutions in this area have the intelligence to know when data is inactive, and move it to less expensive storage tiers.

“By automating their storage solutions, customers can achieve cost savings of up to 38%, and increase performance and efficiency by up to 50%.”

At EMC World 2012, which took place from 21 to 23 May in Las Vegas, EMC introduced its largest-ever wave of new transformative products and technologies – 42 in total. This is allowing EMC to take IT efficiency and agility to new levels within both traditional and virtualised data centres.

For example, OneFS (One File System) within the Isilon product set delivers unmatched scalability and flexibility in a single file system, enabling storage infrastructures to scale-out non-disruptively into petabytes without losing any performance. Additional performance and capacity can be implemented in under 10 minutes and with fewer than 10 mouse clicks, delivering massive benefits to the enterprise application environment.

“The new generation of OneFS, due for release later this year, is capable of increasing throughput by 25% while reducing latency by up to 50%, particularly on I/O-intensive applications,” De Leeuw says.