Businesses want IT to be more flexible, control costs, and be more efficient. Business agility is dependent on IT agility and virtualization is key to creating that agility. Broadleaf focuses on storage virtualization, server virtualization and client virtualization solutions.

Storage Virtualization:

  • Storage virtualization provides a flexible virtual “pool” of storage that can be re-allocated on the fly.
  • Storage virtualization benefits:
  • Eliminates issues of over provisioning certain LUNs
  • Eliminates need for redesign in order to grow the storage pool

Server Virtualization:

Server Virtualization helps to provide that agility by removing hardware dependence and paves the way for flexibility and efficiency with private or public cloud computing.

  • Consolidation of physical servers provides savings in data center space, floor space, power and cooling per server.
  • Taking the physical layer away from applications with server virtualization creates flexibility. Instead of building out with physical servers, virtual servers can be added. The need to overprovision hardware for peak times can be eliminated with server virtualization through automatic load balancing. If a server fails, applications can be automatically moved around minimizing downtime.
  • Maintenance is simplified because when patches or updates are needed, things can be taken off the server virtually. While it is empty, the patch can be done and tested and then the application is virtually moved back.
  • Disaster Recovery- Virtualized servers offsite allow for quick recovery and lower DR costs because fewer physical servers are needed at the DR location.

Desktop or Client Virtualization:

Client virtualization can be defined as a collection of technologies for abstracting, delivering and managing end user (or client) functionality.

The aim is to decouple functionality from OS and hardware and the vision is to provide consistent experience across all user devices with minimal management.  There are two key types of client virtualization technologies: a hosted approach and a local approach.

  • With a hosted approach, the workload is in the data center: virtual machines are running desktop OS’s and/or applications, on servers in the data center; accessed by ‘zero’ , thin or traditional desktop clients, usually via a connection broker, using a variety of remote access protocols, e.g. RDP and most recently PCoIP.
  • With a local approach, desktop and laptop hardware is running bare metal or user level hypervisors as a platform for centrally managed OS-bearing images, and/or containerized application packages.

Various aspects of an organization’s environment must be taken into account when deciding between a hosted or local approach to client virtualization.