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Rlyt - Task 3

In: Computers and Technology

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Seabreeze Virtualization Adoption Plan
Western Governors University

Seabreeze Virtualization Adoption Plan The city of Seabreeze has had the misfortune of decreasing revenue for the past several years and is in desperate need of some cost saving initiatives. The solution must not impact services currently delivered to its citizens. Information technology (IT) is one of the services that must be maintained during the financial reductions. Because the city relies heavily on the use of IT to provide government services elimination of existing infrastructure is not an option. An alternate solution is essential in order to reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the city’s IT equipment by providing newer technology that will have a higher return on investment (ROI). The option identified to fulfill this need is the adoption of virtualized servers, storage devices, and desktop computers. The conversion to virtualized environments will result in substantial cost savings as well as providing enhanced security, greatly improved disaster recovery, a more competent IT staff, and a smaller carbon footprint. 1. Benefits of Virtualization Virtualization is “the process of creating a virtual, rather than physical, version of something” (Virtualization, 2015). In the IT industry this refers to technology that utilizes software to imitate hardware and create virtual computer systems. One example of this is to use a single physical device such as a server and logically divide up its resources (Processor, memory, and storage) to create smaller , separate “virtual machines” (VM), each with their own tailored set of reserved resources . Most servers in use today are not designed to run more than one operating system (OS) or application at a time. These restrictions typically equate to the need for the deployment of multiple servers for even small data centers. With this type of setup the operation is very inefficient as each server only makes use of 5 to 15 percent of its capacity. If not using virtualization, should it become necessary to expand the operations with a new system the city must procure a new physical server, reserve network resources, provide physical space, ensure sufficient Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) exists, and possibly hire additional support personnel. Any physical server that is configured to run only one OS or application is wasting 85-95% of its potential ability making the ROI negligible. The current costs associated with maintaining the city’s 72 servers, including security, electricity, HVAC, and physical space, can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. By adopting virtualization the city can reduce the number of physical servers to between 8 and 10, each running multiple VM instances, while still providing the same level of service. The downsizing of physical servers will result in savings on energy costs that will be seen almost immediately. Significantly fewer servers require less electricity to operate both the servers and the HVAC necessary for climate control. As a result of virtualization the city can also expect a reduction of IT support personnel needed to support the data center which will reduce the employee payroll. Additionally, the space that was previously used for all the physical servers can be reallocated for other use by the city. If the existing direct-attached storage devices are repurposed as storage area network devices the city can consolidate the required data storage. Multiple computers and users will be able to access the storage and permit a larger collection of stored data, as well as reducing the number of physical storage devices which equates to energy savings. Undoubtedly the most important benefit that the city can attribute to virtualization is its improved disaster recovery capability. In the event of a catastrophic event a virtual machine can be moved from one server to another quickly and safely. As noted by New Horizons (2015), “Backing up critical data is done quickly and effectively because your company can effortlessly create a replication site.” This means that numerous man hours are not spent trying to recreate the data center using physical servers. Not only will the city benefit from less effort (chargeable labor hours) being exerted but the downtime of the system and services will be minimized. 2. Offsetting potential negative implications of virtualization In order to offset the negative implications of virtualization there are several things that can be done. Most importantly will be the city’s ability to alleviate the citizen’s fear that their hard earned tax dollars are being spent unnecessarily. They likely do not know the specific costs associated with the current system and probably wouldn’t know how to reduce the IT budget even if they did. In order to put these concerns to rest a detailed plan of the transformation must be shared with the public. These plans must include an itemized inventory of all the necessary hardware equipment needed to make the successful move towards virtualization. Along with this plan there must be a timeline showing the progression of the plan and also a projected return on investment projection. Once the residents realize are aware of how and why their money is going to be spent they should be more receptive to the project. A phased-in approach can be taken to help reduce the impression that the old system is being thrown out and a completely new, unknown system is taking its place. By virtualizing the servers and storage devices first the city can demonstrate the ability to provide the same level of services and show a reduction in operational costs. It also will have little impact on the 350 end-users who will likely be oblivious to the changes on the server side. Once this phase has been completed the city can proceed with virtualizing the desktop workstations to further cut long term costs. Training for the IT staff should be available so that they can be prepared to support the newly virtualized systems. This training should be done prior to the conversion to virtualized systems takes place with as much hands on training as possible. Doing so will help eliminate the support personnel feeling they are ill-prepared to maintain the virtualized servers. 3. Current state of diffusion of virtualization technology Diffusion refers to the degree which the technology is generally used and applied. Since the development of virtualization many years ago it has slowly become more widely adopted but was not commonly accepted at first. Due to technological advancements it has gained popularity over the last decade. A primary reason for its initial slow acceptance was the lack of knowledge of the technology itself. “A significant part of the cost of adopting new technologies is the cost of figuring out what technology is needed to produce the desired good or service and how to use it individually or as part of an existing production process.” (Comin D. & Mestieri M. 2013). When the decision makers are unaware of how virtualization works or what benefits it can provide an organization it is difficult for them to make an informed decision. According to a recent Cisco survey, approximately 65% of small businesses and 79% of medium-sized businesses are currently using virtualization technology (Ribiero 2013). This is a good indicator that the diffusion of virtualization is in the Late Majority phase as most of the market place has already adopted this technology. It appears that as we proceed into the future that it will become the de facto standard of operating in the IT industry. The benefits it provides simply far outweigh the costs of implementation. 4. Potential barriers to adoption of virtualization The biggest potential barrier standing in the way of virtualization adoption is the initial financial investment needed to execute this extremely sizeable project. The amount of funding necessary to facilitate the purchase new hardware, software, configuration of systems, and training for the IT staff may be incomprehensible to the residents of Seabreeze. In order for the city to adopt the virtualization of servers, storage devices and end-user systems it is imperative that the citizens are on board with the spending plan. The current financial situation of the city dictates that fiscal cuts must be made wherever they can and this initiative may be difficult for the government leaders and taxpayers to understand, regardless of the potential ROI that will be the end result. In addition to the seemingly excessive amount this endeavor will cost the city, there are many in the community who may not grasp the highly technical field of virtualization and be reluctant to participate in any relevant discussions. These persons will not understand how this plan can save money over the course of time and feel that funding could be better allocated for other uses. 5. How to gain support for virtualization adoption In order to gain the support of the opinion in Seabreeze leaders there is a need to engage all the stakeholders from the start. This group need to focus on creating a comprehensive proposal that outlines the city’s intentions and how they intend to achieve those cost saving goals utilizing virtualization technology. An assessment completed of all IT assets and the costs associated with their operation and maintenance. This data will provide a baseline from which to begin developing a migration plan. It will also be used to show current expenses versus the projected costs of implementation and sustainment of the new virtualization. Once gathered this information can be compiled in a financial briefing report that details the preliminary investment and the anticipated return on investment. An additional brief can be prepared for the city council explaining how virtualization works and what benefits can be derived from its adoption. The city council should also hold a meeting with the city employees to give them a chance to provide input and have questions answered as well as allay any fears they may have related to the project. Finally, a meeting with the general public should be convened so that interested residents can be briefed on the project, provide their input, and have their concerns addressed. A well informed audience is more likely to support an initiative than those lacking the same information. Promoting the project thru the local media and holding regular meetings should help disseminate the information the majority of the population. 6. Seabreeze technology adoption The city of Seabreeze has been very slow to accept the concept of virtualization and are just now ready embrace it. With the diffusion rate of virtualization technology near saturation already this places Seabreeze somewhere between late majority and laggards section of the Rogers’ technology adoption curve. While the vast majority of businesses have made use of the technology, the city is just now “climbing on board.” The advantage of delaying until the late majority phase is that all the other businesses have thoroughly tested the technology, there is a larger support system, and the costs are likely to have fallen since the time of inception. The disadvantage to adopting an innovation so late is that the once “cutting edge” technology is likely near end of life cycle. A contributing factor to being in the late majority may be the bureaucratic red tape that must be navigated and the government’s need to budget years in advance for projects of this scope.
6a. Strategy for addressing Seabreeze technology adoption Since the city of Seabreeze traditionally chooses not to adopt new technology they find themselves lagging behind the rest of the business world. Their current IT infrastructure is a testament to this type of foot-dragging. What once was state of the art has now become less efficient, cumbersome, and costly to operate and maintain. In order to facilitate a change of attitude an aggressive strategy must be deployed that aims at instilling knowledge in the opinion leaders and ultimately the entire population of Seabreeze. Once the opinion leaders are educated on how the technology works and the extensive benefits it can provide the community they will more willing to embrace this and future technological changes. Our strategy will be a campaign for education; information technology education. The old adage “knowledge is power” is an integral part of this strategy. The leaders, empowered with the necessary knowledge, will be more willing to participate in discussions and forecasting for the city’s IT evolution needs. When the city council members can speak knowledgeably about technology proposals they can more readily gain the support of their constituents. This will help foster an environment where new technology is no longer seen as an unwelcome change and as more of a favorable one. 7. Addressing employee technology acceptance The strategy best suited to promote technology acceptance by the end-users is also one of education. The city’s employees are accustomed to performing their day to day tasks using the same desktop systems they have been using for years. Virtualized workstations is likely a new concept for most, if not all, of them. The end-users will undoubtedly be apprehensive and want to know why the change is necessary. It’s the leadership’s responsibility to educate and train them so they can make the transition to the new system smoothly and with the least amount of disruption to the organization. The strategy should focus on highlighting how the virtualized workstations will not just benefit the city but also provide improved productivity from the end-user. Software updates and patches that used to interrupt a user’s work day will seem transparent as they will all be done on the server side. No longer will there be loss of productivity due to failed components of the old desktop workstations. If a workstation goes down the user simply moves to a different unoccupied workstation. The ability for a user to move from one workstation to another and still have all the same programs and data available for use will ensure maximum efficiency regardless of physical location. Prior to migrating all of the end-user workstations over to virtual systems a lab for training need be established. The lab should have a number of virtual terminals and be used to provide small groups of employees training on how to use the new systems. This training should include, but not be limited to, logging on to the system, program execution, data storage and retrieval, printing, and familiarization with any new software programs that were not part of the old system. All employees should be required to attend at least one session of the training to help ensure the widest dissemination of information. Immersion into this technology in this manner will better prepare the end-users to perform their daily tasks once the rollover takes place. Most employees are late adopters of new technology simply because they don’t understand it. Once they comprehend the new system and its intended purpose most will be much more receptive if it.

Afolabi O. & Ogundoyin I. (2015) Virtualization: A Sustainable Resource Management Strategy in Computing Practices. IOSR Journal of Computer Engineering (IOSR-JCE), Volume 17, Issue 2, Ver. II (Mar–Apr. 2015), PP 67-70 Retrieved January 4, 2016, from
Comin D. & Mestieri M. (2013, May 8). Technology Diffusion: Measurement, Causes and Consequences. Retrieved January 5, 2016, from
Freedman W. (2015, March 24). T Building A Business Case For Network Virtualization. Retrieved January 2, 2016, from,2-891.html
New Horizons Great Lakes. (2015, February20). Top 5 Ways Businesses Benefit from Server Virtualization. Retrieved January 1, 2016, from
Ribiero, R. (2013, November 5). Virtualization Is the New Normal in Small Business. Retrieved January 5, 2016, from
VMware (2015, April 29). Top 5 Tips When Considering Network Virtualization. Retrieved January 4, 2016, from

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