By Chris Sutherland Network
Engineer, Advanced Matrix Network Services, a JHA solution
Virtualization is a proven
software technology that is rapidly transforming the IT landscape and
fundamentally changing the way that people compute. Virtualization allows you
to enhance the way your IT environment operates. It simplifies the physical infrastructure,
providing centralized management and better flexibility for resource sharing.
From data centers to desktops, virtualization lets banks pool and share IT
resources centrally and standardize computer deployment and resources so data
is more secure.
For years, bankers have been
watching and waiting for the definitive direction of virtualization. Although
the technology isn't new, there has been a delay in adoption for reasons
ranging from an overall lack of knowledge about the benefits, to banks fearing
a shift in their day-to-day operations.
technology is maturing and the tangible benefits are being realized - and the
timing couldn't be better. In the recent uncertain economic environment, the
industry-wide virtualization initiative is generating immediate and ongoing
operating efficiencies and cost savings for many banks nationwide. And more and
more banks are progressively plugging in.
Below are the top five reasons
banks are implementing server virtualization.
1. Get more out of resources
With virtualization, banks can
pool common infrastructure resources and break the legacy "one application to
one server" model with server consolidation. Virtualization can dramatically
reduce the number of physical servers and dynamically redistribute excess
computing power to where it is needed most. As the processing power of today's
servers continues to increase, it is now easier than ever for one more powerful
server to replace multiple smaller servers.
Reducing the number of physical
servers also reduces ongoing energy requirements, making it a more
environmentally friendly way of doing business. This option is attractive to
banks that are adopting "green" business practices.
2. Reduce data center costs
reduction is one of the primary reasons banks are increasingly taking advantage
of virtualization. Virtualization requires fewer servers and related IT
hardware and can reduce real estate, power, and cooling requirements. It also
provides more efficient management tools, which can enable banks to improve
their server‐to‐admin ratio and even reduce personnel requirements. And looking
at the big picture, virtualization dramatically reduces the hassle and costs
associated with ongoing hardware maintenance.
3. Enhance availability and
availability of hardware and applications, improving business continuity and
disaster recovery. It enables banks to securely backup and migrate entire
virtual environments with practically no interruption in their day-to-day
operations. With virtualization, banks can eliminate planned downtime and
recover quickly from unplanned business interruptions.
4. Gain operational
Virtualization enables banks to
respond to market changes with dynamic resource management, faster server
provisioning and improved desktop application deployment. Banks need to be able
to change software and add new products in a reasonable time frame. With a
virtual server infrastructure, they can do this without having to find new
hardware, order it, and wait on having it shipped to the bank. If you have the
growth room in your setup you can configure and test without having to wait for
5. Improved desktop
management and security
environments that users can access locally or remotely, with or without a
network connection on almost any standard desktop, laptop, tablet PC, or
device. With desktop virtualization, banks can secure and manage desktops from
one centralized location. Using simple management tools, all desktops can be
configured the same and the data is stored at a data center to help ensure that
security and backup policy requirements are upheld.
Getting started with
Banks that are interested in
getting started with virtualization should begin the process with discovery and
planning. It's important to analyze the current operating environment and use
that information to decide how and where virtualization should be utilized.
Discovery - First, take inventory of your entire environment,
including servers, workstations, and switches. Monitor the performance of your
environment, which includes building a history of performance for servers,
diagramming what each workstation needs physically, and tracking performance of
bandwidth locally on wide area networks.
Planning - Review your
discovery documentation, and determine what elements of your environment are
good candidates for virtualization. Determine your future needs in areas such
as management, disaster recovery, and cost savings. And make sure you're
working with a trusted and proven vendor that is experienced with evaluating
and implementing virtualized environments. Look for a vendor that offers custom
network solutions and consultation that support virtualization, server
consolidation, storage, communications, conversions, and migrations.
Server virtualization can
generate significant cost and time saving benefits to banks. If you haven't
researched how this operational enhancement can help your bank save money,
improve disaster recovery, and simplify day-to-day processes, there's never
been a better time than right now. Around the world, companies of all sizes are
benefiting from virtualization - don't be left behind!
Chris Sutherland is a
Network Engineer, Advanced, at Matrix Network Services offered by Gladiator
Technology, a solution provided by the ProfitStars® division of Jack Henry
& Associates, Inc. (JHA). He can be reached at email@example.com.