Five tips for mobile virtualization management success

By Andrew Davidson

Dynamic infrastructure is the key to many of the challenges faced by today’s increasingly pressured IT departments, as it enables enterprises to manage changing demands for resources in a more efficient manner by provisioning them in real time. Virtualization management is at the heart of this computing paradigm — managing the dynamic IT environment and ensuring computing resources are allocated where and when they are required in an agile, on-demand way rather than maintaining potentially redundant and infrequently used systems. At a time when IT budgets are under more scrutiny than ever before, virtualization enables enterprises to focus their spending and attention on high-value requirements and pay only for the resources they use.

Thanks to bring-your-own-device programs, the proliferation of mobile devices in the enterprise is forcing enterprises to take a closer look at virtualization management. With 70 percent of mobile employees expected to use their personal smart devices at work by 2018, a growing number of workers are carrying devices that contain or have access to highly sensitive corporate data.

Agility, security and privacy are prerequisites for any virtualization management solution, but they are far from the only ones. The following are five tips enterprises should consider when deploying a mobile environment:

1. User experience

Virtualization management tools intrinsically offer a complex set of functions, but that complexity should not impede the ability of admins to derive valuable insights. How quickly can virtualization management tools be deployed within the enterprise, and what is the expected learning curve for admins? Any virtualization management tool should be intuitive, simple and easy to use, delivering valuable insights to the newest users in a short length of time.

2. Reach

How capable is the solution at aggregating data from different systems into a single view of the mobile environment? IT departments have a multitude of systems under their control, so a tool that can interface with those different systems to provide a simpler view of the corporate IT environment may offer further efficiencies, especially if it’s capable of pulling data from diverse systems and providing a unified view of performance and meaningful insights based on that aggregation.

3. Capacity

Managing IT capacity in a virtual environment is a core consideration, but it is a constant and challenging task. Virtualization management solutions should not only be able to deal with your current environment but be able to scale with requirements as the enterprise’s IT environment demands change.

4. Demonstrating value

Can the enterprise gain a clear, value-based view of how well the virtualized environment is performing and what the impact of that performance is on the enterprise’s IT resources? Maintaining performance is all very well, but the ability to understand the impact of that performance on uptime and, critically, the cost of IT is of considerably greater value.

5. Differentiators

There is a base level of expectation from any virtualization management solution — it should be secure, manage capacity effectively, produce data-driven insights, track changes, highlight performance issues and recommend solutions. But what else? Enterprises considering virtualization should look for the extras in any solution — for example, predictive analysis of performance factors and workload balancing are just two factors that might elevate an offering above the crowd. Pay careful attention to the basic feature set of the solutions you consider, and then ask yourself, “What else can it do for me?”

Written By

Andrew Davidson

Mobile Portfolio Marketing Leader, Europe at IBM

Mobile marketeer with over 20 years experience in telling stories about technology innovation and the way it shapes our world. Andrew is responsible for helping IBM develop and grow its mobile business in Europe.

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