Is the midmarket better than enterprise at ‘Private Cloud’?

I heard a great story the other day about a large organization who embraced virtualisation to a fairly high degree. As part of this they managed to reduce the time taken to deploy a new workload from three months to six weeks for a virtual machine. Of course, it can be done significantly quicker than that, but their processes put the brakes on what the technology could deliver.

What do I mean by ‘Private Cloud’? I guess I am talking about what HP refer to as ‘Converged Infrastructure’; a heavily virtualised environment whereby resources can be provisioned and reallocated more or less dynamically to meet the needs of a business; one whereby traditional silos of storage, networking and compute resource are managed all together to ensure that the appropriate resource is available to a given workload.

Whilst midmarket organizations don’t perhaps have access to the most cutting edge (and most expensive!) technologies, it feels to me as if smaller companies have perhaps embraced virtualisation to a much deeper level than larger ones, and this means, I think, that they are closer to the likely future of computing than those stuck-in-the-mud big businesses who can’t change so quickly – and can’t make the most of what technology will enable them to do.

So why are SMEs better at this than the bigger boys?

–       Typically, SMEs seem more likely to go for 100% virtualised – or at the very least, a ‘virtualise by default’ policy.

–       The IT team within SMEs are often multi-discipline. This means that the traditional ‘silo’ of storage vs networking vs server can rapidly be overcome

–       Application owners are frequently also infrastructure owners – meaning that by default the infrastructure is designed to suit the needs of the business.

–       The layers of red tape that can unfortunately exist within larger organisations (with good reason, often) frequently don’t have such an impact in a smaller, more agile business..

What do you think? How far down the line towards a ‘private cloud’ style architecture has your company got?

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