Virtualization technology can no longer be thought of as an exotic way to store multiple servers on the same physical hardware, according to a recent report from Windows IT Pro contributor Michael Otey.
Instead, he said, far more extensive use of virtual infrastructure in the business world has made the technology the rule rather than the exception. What's more, the role of virtualization in the enterprise will continue to change dramatically over the course of 2012.
"Probably the most important virtualization trend that lays the ground for the future is support for the dynamic datacenter. Most organizations are already taking advantage of virtualization for server consolidation. The next stage beyond server consolidation is the ability to move virtualized resources between different hosts with no downtime," Otey wrote.
With new products from the likes of VMware already on the market and offering this capacity, the Windows IT Pro writer said, more businesses will adopt the technology in order to provide a means of easily managing often-extensive virtual workloads without imposing major demands on the work-hours of tech staff.
The use of virtual desktop infrastructure, as well, is likely to see increasingly widespread uptake in 2012, according to Otey. The ability to provide a fully featured desktop experience without the need for a stand-alone PC could prove difficult to resist for companies looking to do more with less in an uncertain economic climate.
Instead of having to buy a computer for every employee, and upgrade all the software on it manually, IT departments can simply provide thin clients or cheap older machines that can be automatically updated from a remote management console.
The technology is also set to be applied more frequently to the application layer, Otey added, adding virtualization's flexibility and simplicity to the app world.
"Application virtualization makes it easy to deploy new applications, and because the applications are essentially sandboxed, they don't need to be installed on the client to run nor will they interfere with other applications that may be on the client desktop," he wrote.
While every company's IT situation is different, experts agree that there are few organizations out there that couldn't benefit from some degree of virtualization usage. Whether the technology is implemented with the idea of easing workloads or simply to save money, the benefits are numerous.