BFSI VISION | Virtualization


Jagjit Singh Arora

Director, Regional Sales, Red Hat India

Creating next gen solutions for banks
  • What is preventing the widespread adoption of virtualization?
    The adoption of virtualization is the movement towards cloud and improved efficiencies, offering many benefits, including infrastructure optimization, more efficient use of resources, increased IT productivity, and a reduction in capital and operational expenses. Virtualization is, in fact, quite prevalent and mature, and is perhaps only limited by workloads and infrastructures. As customers plan for the cloud, it's important to build common services that use existing virtualization investment and the cloud, while avoiding vendor dependency. To give them more flexibility as they move to the cloud, many organizations are looking at open source virtualization offerings – including Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization. A foundation that's built on open source technologies can help them bring sprawling systems together using existing resources, but without the drawbacks of proprietary offerings.

  • What are the top virtualization challenges that firms face?
    When choosing virtualization, firms should consider availability, infrastructure and scalability. Virtualization can vastly improve efficiency, free up resources, and cut costs — without sacrificing performance, security, and existing investments.

    Banking and financial services segments are among the more heavily regulated industries today, and those requirements, combined with an ever-changing global financial climate means that the pressure is on many banks to reduce costs while improving — or at a minimum, maintaining — customer service levels.

    Like banks the world over, Indian banks too face cost reduction pressures resulting from challenging economic conditions and the need to be competitive with other financial institutions in its core markets. Over time, the banks' IT infrastructure has become complex, with a multitude of servers and operating system versions in use, leading to unnecessarily high operational costs. Moreover, businesses today are placing more of their infrastructure systems in virtualized environments to increase security and ensure readiness and reduce negative impact to daily operations.

    We are also now helping banks in India that are keen on improving the delivery of innovative e-commerce applications to customers. In India, banks are required to restructure their infrastructure to increase agility and improve delivery of mission-critical applications. With Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure, which includes Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and Red Hat CloudForms (a hybrid cloud management offering), global banks such as Union Bank are working closely with Red Hat to architect, build, and implement next-generation solutions for the bank.

  • How does one choose the most suitable virtualization platform?
    Virtualization has emerged as the preferred way to boost infrastructure productivity and flexibility over the years, with Gartner estimating almost two-thirds of all x86 workloads are now virtualized. Because virtualization software is available from many vendors and the technology has been standardized, it is not considered a commodity product

    With virtualization now a commodity technology, total cost of ownership and price/performance are the most important factors in choosing the best virtualization platform. Finding a solution to meet these goals is not easy. IDC said in a report that the industry today has moved on to the third era of virtualization, the "3.0" or cloud era. The goal is to take virtualized servers as the foundation of a larger virtualization initiative (across the entire data center) and leverage the instantaneous nature of virtualization to create agile, higher level services that can be provisioned quickly and billed on a granular level.

    When choosing a virtualization platform for your data centre, the architecture and capabilities may be limited by the features offered by each product. Therefore it is important that the following parameters are met to ensure that administrators are able to reduce the cost and complexity of large deployments.

    • High availability to quickly configure virtual machines for fault tolerance
    • Live migration to move virtual machines between physical hosts without interruption
    • System scheduler to create policies to dynamically balance compute resources
    • Power saver to create policies to conserve power and cooling costs
    • Image manager to create, manage and provision virtual machines
    • Storage virtualization to consistently access common storage from any server
    • Multi-level administration to enable administration of physical infrastructure as well as administration of virtual objects
    • Ability to convert existing virtual machines on foreign hypervisors to the Virtualization platform.

    A range of reports either from the reports module based on JasperReports, or from data warehouse. The reports enable administrators to monitor and analyze information on virtual machines, hosts and storage usage and performance

    Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization provides all of the above to IT departments to meet the challenges of managing complex environments. Red Hat offers a community developed approach to technology. Many of Red Hat's partners, including Cisco, HP, IBM, Intel, and NetApp contribute to that community, and also collaborate with us on Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization.

    When considering options for the most suitable virtualization platforms, customers should look at how the solution can address the factors of TCO, performance without limiting future flexibility.