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Utility Computing: Where Is It At?

In Part 1 of our series focused on dispelling the myths surrounding data center virtualization, we addressed the basics of the technology and the important role virtualization will play in the evolution of the next-generation data center (see Keeping IT Simple).

Now, in Part 2, we will identify the current stage of development of the utility computing model namely, what level of technology is available and ready to be implemented today. There are three distinct stages that make up the present migration towards a utility computing model:

      1) Virtualized computing,
      2) On-demand computing, and
      3) Utility computing.

This article will address each of the three stages and clearly identify where we are today in terms of the technology and overall industry adoption.

First is the concept of virtualized computing. The first step in migrating towards utility computing is to begin deploying virtualized network devices to work in conjunction with your existing data center network infrastructure. As equipment needs to be replaced, virtualized network appliances allow IT managers to “turn up” new virtual services to handle the load, rather than deploying an entirely new device.

Virtualization is achieved by abstracting functionality and management away from physical implementation, thereby enabling companies to deploy one virtualized appliance to take the place of tens to hundreds of legacy devices, providing significant reductions in capital expenditure (capex).

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