Special Report

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While the realized benefits of virtualization are still debated, the technology itself is gaining ground in cash-strapped agencies as a way to gain efficiencies and extend IT services to more users. The focus now is on managing the complexities of the infrastructure that supports it.
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Server virtualization is well established at most agencies, and the next step for many is at the desktop. But virtualizing desktop images and applications is a different animal and it has its own infrastructure
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Storage, which has become a secondary consideration in many physical infrastructures, is the achilles heel in virtualization. Contention issues from competing resource demands put the focus on storage I/O, and they will only increase with desktop virtualization. Managing this requires a multi-layered view of the virtualized infrastructure.
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When it comes to the skills needed for virtualization, traditional skills developed for the physical infrastructure may only be the beginning. Users and other program leaders need to be in on the conversation from the beginning. As complexity increases, “virtualization architects” who understand all the nuances may be needed.
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Many IT professionals think the benefits of virtualization are now obvious, but they still have to operate in a government world that will be cash poor for a long time. If they want their virtualized infrastructure, they’ll still need to sell their story.
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