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Transforming one's IT infrastructure through virtualization and the path to one's private cloud can be characterized in three distinct phases each of which presents its own separate challenges. Phase 1 is characterized by server consolidation a shift away from physical servers into a streamlined virtual environment. In Phase 2, the focus shifts to virtualizing core business applications who's requirement for high-availability requires detailed planning and many considerations. Phase 3 focuses on automation and the promise of the software defined data center enabling business to deliver IT as a service and meet their SLAs. Each of these phases requires expertise in many areas and technologies, deep understanding of sizing and scale techniques, and the ability to plan and forecast growth to meet future demand and protection requirements - all of which can be the stumbling block which blocks the path to adopting a next generation IT infrastructure.
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