A guide to virtualization management for enterprise CIOs

In this guide to virtualization, find out how enterprise CIOs are tailoring desktop strategies to mobility and the cloud.

Virtualization has virtually become a mainstay in many enterprise organizations seeking to boost efficiencies, automate and centralize processes, and improve scalability and workloads. It's the CIO's job to ensure that the IT organization's virtualization management strategy is crafted with enough flexibility to take advantage of advances in virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and computing trends such as mobility and cloud.

In this guide to virtualization management for CIOs, learn how to launch or update a virtualization strategy, the specific benefits of VDIs, and how other organizations are seeing the benefits of virtualization for themselves.

This guide to virtualization is part of SearchCIO.com's CIO Briefings series, which is designed to give IT leaders strategic management and decision-making advice on timely topics.

Table of contents:

An overview guide to virtualization

It's a fact of life in the world of technology: What (seemingly) only yesterday was considered bleeding-edge suddenly is de rigueur. Such is the case with virtualization technologies.

Just a few years ago, most CIOs were applying virtualization technologies to non-mission-critical systems and services, and just a handful were virtualizing mission-critical applications and pondering its use for disaster recovery (DR). CIOs today have expanded their virtualized environments with the aid of a maturing set of tools to gain benefits in the desktop, storage and DR realms. And as these wade into the deeper waters of virtualization, they're approaching it all with appropriately cautious management strategies.

Read the full FAQ, "Virtualization technologies for DR, the desktop and beyond."

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Virtualization management strategy

IT leaders have to determine whether they should implement a working virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). Given the dramatic trend to using tablets and smartphones in the enterprise, most CIOs at least should get a working pilot into place. They won't last too long if their technology departments are in the business of saying "No" while everyone around them has become part of the tablet generation.

In his own VDI projects, CIO Niel Nickolaisen says he has learned one critical lesson: VDI requires shifting the burden of processing from PCs or laptops to somewhere else. Such a shift often creates bottlenecks in the network or at the point of data I/O where the processing now takes place. In his case, the company used wide-area-network acceleration to reduce the network bottleneck and a solid-state VDI appliance to eliminate the data center I/O constraint. This allowed the delivery of a virtual desktop to about 80% of employees.

Read more from Nickolaisen in "CIOs must keep slow enterprise virtualization rolling along."

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A glossary guide to virtualization management

Get your virtualization ducks in a row with the help of this handy glossary.

Desktop virtualization use cases

What does a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) have to do with clinical care? Plenty, when clinicians at Seattle Children's Hospital have about 20 minutes to assess a new patient, and as much as 10 minutes of that time is spent interacting with technology.

"That's a significant distraction to what we do as a business," said Jake Hughes, the hospital's chief technical architect. By using a combination of desktop virtualization technologies, however, the time doctors and nurses spend logging on and off workstations has been reduced by 45 minutes a day.

Read more about desktop virtualization success in "Tying a virtual desktop infrastructure to business needs."

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Enterprise virtualization strategies quiz for CIOs

As enterprise virtualization strategies evolve, many CIOs are turning to the latest advances in desktop virtualization, virtualized storage, virtual data centers and more.

Have you kept up-to-date with the latest advances in enterprise virtualization strategies? Read some of our recent coverage and take this quiz to find out.

Are you a virtualization guru?