Which Comes First? Virtualization or Integration?

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You've heard the old dilemma, which came first, the chicken or the egg? Well, it seems IT has a similar conundrum when it comes to virtualization or integration.


I've written previously about how virtualization can help with data integration and BI integration issues. In March, I also shared how David Vellante, a former CEO and founder of three startups, pointed out that pursuing virtualization can uncover more business-centric integration issues. He also warned that virtualization could be hindered by a lack of integration across storage, backup, networking, security, and management functions in virtualized environments.


Virtualization is generally seen as a sort of first step into the cloud, according to fellow IT Business Edge blogger Arthur Cole. The problem is, it's easier said than done. As Cole explains, you'll also need to pursue automation.


Cole shares advice from Mark Townsend, director of solutions management for Enterasys Networks, about how to pursue automation and the cross-functional transparency between VMs and network provisioning applications you'll need to support it.


And guess what that requires? If you guessed "integration," give yourself a gold star.


Cole also includes CA's Andi Mann's five-step process for transitioning from a virtual environment to the cloud:


  1. Ensure your virtual environments has tailored management stacks that can "accommodate particular needs like configuration, capacity planning and real-time automation."
  2. Don't try to repurpose your physical toolset for your virtual systems. Instead, opt for a new new management approach designed for virtual architecture.
  3. Lifecycle management needs to be an "integrated package covering all aspects of the process."
  4. "Integrate systems management across all domains of the enterprise, including the human ones."
  5. Recognize that virtual management and automation are as important in cloud computing as managing and maintaining services.


Once again, that word "integration" is a key stop on the road to virtualization. And, hopefully, easier integration awaits you at the end.


By the way, that chicken and egg question? Recent research says the answer is "chicken."