InfoStar is offering the following Virtualization Consulting Services

Application Virtualization:

Increase IT utilization and efficiency and manage upgrades and backups more easily through virtualization of business critical applications. InfoStar Consulting's process for transforming applications ensures success:

  • Strategy — Analyze and rationalize the application portfolio.
  • Design — Apply profile application characteristics, design, pilot, and test.
  • Implement — Migrate applications to a virtual environment.
  • Operations — Develop effective processes for IT management.

InfoStar Consulting has a deep understanding of both applications and virtual environments. Our virtualization services can help you improve your applications' performance, increase availability, improve recoverability, and simplify management. Growth in business information continues to accelerate, driven by applications such as Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint and SQL Server. IT budgets remain constrained and investing in more servers and storage to support these growing Microsoft applications is rarely the best strategy.

A more effective long term solution is to re-architect the applications and the infrastructure to support a consolidated and virtualized environment: Challenges to overcome include: optimizing inconsistent IT environments, rapid deployment and adoption of a virtualized infrastructure and ensuring business continuity while virtualizing.
InfoStar Consultants have the required skills and experience across a range of technologies including:

  • The knowledge to rearchitect the application that is to be virtualized
  • The experience to design and deploy the virtualized environment
The migration skills to ensure that production application data is migrated without impacting the business.

How do you deploy applications today? 

Do you have standard applications that are authorized for your environment? 

How do you maintain updates to these applications? 

Can your users reach the applications they want to use from any device, anywhere they want to work?

These are the questions that Application Virtualization provides solutions to. With application virtualization, applications no longer need to be deployed to your users’ laptops or desktops – now they are delivered! Using streaming and hosting technologies, the applications are stored on centralized servers and then delivered to your users when they need them. Not only does this save money on software deployment mechanisms and administration costs, but it enhances your ability to work from a client site, a home office, or any internet connected device in a disaster scenario.

Say goodbye to costly and frequent deployment efforts, and say hello to how applications get delivered in the 21st century. Contact our experts at InfoStar today to ask how we can save money and effort with Application Virtualization (powered by Citrix technologies).

Desktop Virtualization:

Today users should be able to access their applications - including legacy applications - across multiple platforms and devices to complete their work. They also want to stay connected and be able to work from anywhere and at any time that suits them with a consistent user experience. To achieve this dynamic End User Computing environment, a highly secure infrastructure that can scale to meet fluctuating business demands must be implemented, along with a rationalized application portfolio with defined SLAs.

The fundamental technology challenge to enable this vision is the abstraction of the user persona and applications from the operating system and the device. This will enable a user to work from home on their tablet, in the office on their laptop or while traveling using their smart phone and enjoy a consistent experience.
Implementing a virtualized end user computing environment changes the way people work as well as the technology they use. InfoStar Consulting can help you address both technology and cultural changes. InfoStar Consulting also helps you assess the viability of virtualized solutions for your selected users.

Through a series of facilitated workshops, we review key business and technical requirements, identify gaps in the current computing environment, and recommend a strategy for end user computing. This will addresses both the physical and virtual desktop environments and we recommend the appropriate desktop technology to meet your needs.

InfoStar consultants will assess your existing physical and virtual desktop infrastructure, identity areas for optimization from the infrastructure, hypervisor configuration, and desktop environment. Finally we develop a key findings and recommendations report.

You have a main office in the New York Metro area but you have branch offices geographically dispersed across WAN connections. You don’t want to put IT staff in the branch offices because it’s not cost effective, but you have to provide an acceptable level of service to these users. What are you supposed to do now?

Desktop Virtualization (powered by Citrix XenDesktop) is a powerful technology that allows the provisioning of desktops for users no matter where they are located. Using what’s commonly referred to as Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), InfoStar assists our customers in reducing costs associated with managing the desktop infrastructure. Each time a user logs into the network, they are presented with a fresh image of the Windows client and all of their settings and data are maintained in the datacenter preserving both security of the data and the backup needs of the organization.

By using this technology, the hardware replacement needs of the end user desktops are pushed off. All of the processing is performed on the powerful equipment in the datacenter. In addition, users can easily run two or more desktops without requiring more than one workstation. A user can run one instance of Windows XP while another instance of Windows Vista is running in the background. Truly maximize the efficiency of your workforce.


Server Virtualization:

Servers cost money - lots of money. Of course, there’s the capital expenditure every 3-4 years to procure/replace a server. But that’s not the end of it. Every month, servers cost money to power, cool, and they take up valuable real estate. Then there are soft costs. 

How much does it cost per year to have a hardware replacement service contract in place? How much does it cost to perform systems administration on each physical device? These costs quickly add up.

InfoStar utilizes proven technologies from vendors such as Citrix (XenServer), Microsoft (Hyper-V), and VMWare (ESX) to reduce the number of physical nodes required by our client organizations. Imagine if you could consolidate 32 physical servers onto 1-2 physical servers. The cost savings in power consumption alone would be compelling.

We estimate every physical server costs $72/month to power and an additional $66/month to cool. Consolidating 32 physical servers onto 1-2 physical servers would save over $4,140 per month (almost 50k per year) just on electricity alone! Even consolidating just 10 physical servers down to 2 physical servers can save over $13,000/year.

When it’s time to replace a server, instead of spending more than $160,000 to replace 32 servers, just replace 2 physical servers at an estimated cost of $34,000.Save more than $126,000 every 3-4 years.

Server virtualization is a technology that allows multiple servers to run on the same hardware, appearing as if they were distinct physical systems but in reality sharing computer processors, memory and storage. The approach allows more efficient utilization of computing resources and allows a data center to achieve even greater efficiencies, once the maximum density of rackmounted systems has been reached (see the strategy document on Data Center Facilities for more information on that subject).

While theoretically there are substantial cost-savings that can be realized, the initial investment required to set up a virtual server cluster has made substantial deployment of a service difficult. The challenge for IT Services is two-fold: making the financial case for server virtualization, incorporating the cost savings gained from not having to build out the data center; and promoting the service so that clients understand its benefits and are motivated to make the switch from owning a physical server.

IT Services has about five years of experience with server virtualization using VMware. Currently, there are about 100 virtual machines running on systems located in four physically separate environments. One group of machines, running at Duke University, is set up for disaster recovery (BCDR), should something catastrophic happen to the Stanford campus. There are three other groups of machines, two set up to handle restricted data, and one for non-restricted data.

The first two revisions of the server virtualization project never gained momentum because of the associated costs. The start-up investment required, which includes high-speed shared storage and licensing software, has made it difficult to match existing physical hardware costs due to subsidized rackspace costs in Forsythe. Currently, the cost for a "normal size" virtual server is slightly less than a standard rackmount server, which has a typical lifespan of three to five years.

The advantages of server virtualization include:

More effective utilization of hardware: The different needs of various servers (such as web servers and application servers) may be readily accommodated on the same system, making the most of CPU, memory, and disk resources.
Reduced downtime: Because virtual servers can migrate to different hardware systems without downtime, physical hardware can be taken offline for maintenance without any disruption to virtual machines. However, virtual servers still need upgrades and patches, so administration is still required.

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