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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Virtualization and the On Demand Business







In this chapter, we introduce the concept of virtualization. We start by looking at general business and organization virtualization techniques, and then examine the key types of technical virtualization, discussing server, storage and network virtualization. Finally, we briefly review application virtualization and look at the emerging Web Services (WS) and service-oriented architecture (SOA) paradigm.


Increasingly through the 1990s business, governments, education and other segments
adopted virtualization techniques to maximize organizational and business opportunities, while simultaneously increasing their reach and reducing their costs. Simple examples of virtual organizations are businesses that outsourced departments and functions which other organizations could do better and more effectively; this included parts of their business which were not considered core, and areas in which the organization was not specialized.

Consider, for example, the areas of catering and building maintenance. Until the late 1980s, many businesses and organizations had departments and internal organizations that handled building planning and maintenance, as well as ordering, preparing and delivering food and beverage services to the employees of the organization. In the 1990s, it became commonplace for specialized companies to take over these roles and responsibilities. These specialized companies had better contacts, more buying power and flexibility, and could often deliver the same or improved services at lower cost than the organization itself. In many cases the organization’s own employees were transferred to the specialized company, and yet continued to work in the same place, doing much the same job—they had in essence become “virtual” employees.

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