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From many vantage points, 2010 has been one of the bumpiest transition years that the Information Technology channel has seen. Put aside the discussions over whether businesses will be migrating away from Windows XP and to Windows 7. Forget about whether the iPad will revolutionize the way people live.
For business, the dance that many are now playing out with the advent of cloud computing and virtual data centers has been more awkward than an eighth-grade semiformal.
“Is it the right time to push my IT costs into the cloud?”
"Is hybrid computing the best approach?"
“Aren’t new servers with Intel CPUs enough of a reason to keep everything on premise, where it’s within our control?”
The fact is, these are issues that simply go back to a bedrock principle of successful system builders and solution providers: Don’t think of it as technology. Think of it as a way to help people be more successful at business.
For system builders who may be concerned that IT is migrating into big, multibillion-dollar data centers with Tier-1 servers and away from their business model, the confusion that continues to stir through this transition is an advantage. The building blocks that are now at their disposal make custom system builders more competitive than ever when going head-to-head with other business models -- including hosted everything-as-a-service offerings.
When the custom system channel stacks up against big hosting providers, there are still significant advantages to the system builders who leverage virtualization:
• Citrix’s XenServer, VMware and Microsoft’s Hyper-V virtualization offerings are all tailor-made for custom system builders to provide greater and greater value through the supply chain; • The current generation of industry-standard CPUs provides major advantages in scale and flexibility in supporting virtualization-based internal clouds that the big data centers have a difficult time matching; • Quality still counts. That means that system builders who can deliver systems that are highly reliable, redundant and still cost-effective can receive a nice boost every time another headline pops up about a major data center crashing or suffering downtime.
With the keys being virtualization, components and quality, this plays right into the custom system builders’ wheelhouse.
Custom Systems Magazine takes a look at the basic building blocks in the market that don’t just allow system builders to keep up with the cloud’s success, but deliver significantly competitive solutions that actually keep them well ahead.
NEXT: Planning The Virtual Solution