The current global economic climate is a major cause for concern for all industries and individuals alike. We haven't seen a global recession the likes of which we are currently experiencing since the early 20th century.
The public are looking to introduce household cost efficiencies to help them weather the economic storm and the clouds gathering over many businesses are a real reason for concern, but are they also a sign, a subtle hint of how they might one day see clear blue skies again?
Strained metaphor I know, but I think one that if given some thought makes sense. Many businesses are carrying inflated operational costs due to ageing infrastructures and processes often defined in the mid 90's when distributed computing and the client server model was embraced in a backlash to the restrictive Mainframe architectures.
It was around the mid 90's that the term 'Blue Sky' thinking first began to make its way into my vocabulary, it seemed that at every IT project or transformation programme meeting I attended I needed to think 'blue sky', now it seems I have to think Cloud, but I prefer white fluffy clouds on a back drop of 'blue skies' as opposed to the big storm clouds gathering over the economy and our industries.
So what has all this got to do with a Cloud Computing blog, I hear you ask?
Well, Cloud Computing can deliver great cost efficiencies to businesses and reduce on going operational costs whilst increasing agility. The simple fact of the matter is that it can't fail to.
Even if we look at the simplest business case that puts you on a path to Cloud Computing, I'm not even suggesting a full Cloud Computing architecture; you will reduce your costs.
What is that business case? Infrastructure Consolidation
Even without process re-engineering, organisational structure change, service definitions or enhanced virtualisation technology you can put yourself on the "Journey to the Cloud" and provide your business with reduced operational costs.
For instance the latest Intel 7500 series will provide you with a 35-40% increase over the 5600 series allowing you to increase consolidation ratios further than before and improve your overall energy consumption.
Now, that might seem like a bit of a 'marketing statement' and perhaps it is, but beneath the marketing and technology are real tangible business benefits. Simply increasing your consolidation ratio per physical server from 10VM's to 14WM's would decrease an overall IT estate with 800VM's from 80 to 60 physical servers. That would represent a 25% overall saving just on capital costs and annual energy bills for this portiton of your estate.
With an avearage 3 year operating cost of circa £128k (including energy, data center, software, software support and server administration) multipled by 80 servers resulting in a potential ongoing Operating Cost of circa £10m over 3years a 25% saving simply by embracing an infrastructure consolidation exercise and leveraging the latest processor technology could see your business saving £2.5m over 3years.
So it might be in your power yet to help move the storm clouds gathering over your business and create some blue skies, with some nice fluffy white clouds.
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‘This post is brought to you in partnership with Intel(R) as part of the "Technology in tomorrow's cloud & virtual desktop" series’