Ducati an Example for Midsize Businesses Considering Virtualization

By | Apr 23, 2012

Ducati may be a big brand, but it's not a big company. With an average of 40,000 motorcycles produced each year, and around 1,000 employees, the company is much smaller than its world-recognized brand would suggest.

Not only a world leader in motorcycle design, Ducati also pushing forward into near complete virtualization of their IT networks. A recent ZDNet interview with CIO Daniel Bellini looks at the speed and comprehensiveness of the company's adoption of virtualized systems.

The interview reveals that the company has 98-percent virtualization across its operations and has already deployed a private cloud that connects its entire complex network of subsidiaries, from Thai manufacturers to trackside racers.

Bellini says that the aggressive strategic plan the company had in place when he joined in 2007 is a key driver of the uptake of virtualized systems. He says, "Given the targets we would face in just three to four years, it was absolutely a necessity to move quickly into virtualization."

He further stated in the interview that flexibility and agility were the primary benefits the company received from applying virtualization, but also that the company has become more efficient and has been able to deploy new applications in time frames unimaginable before they virtualized. Bellini also acknowledged that the initial investment in the technology, while quite hefty, repaid itself in a very short time. He says that companies looking into the technology should "embrace it, test it, design it wisely, and believe in virtualization."

A Shining Example

The Ducati example is a good one for midsize businesses considering the virtualization option. The company may not be large in scale, but with a complex internal structure covering everything from supply chain to design, development, and manufacturing, the success of its transition to virtualized systems is instructive.

Furthermore, the speedy return on investment noted by Bellini is not limited to his company's example. A recent study into virtualization noted at infoboom has proven that not only is the practice more efficient, but also cost effective. Companies in the study saw an average 140-percent return on investment in server virtualization, and when combined with other virtualization options such as document management, companies were averaging 269-percent savings.

While the heavyweight in the world of virtualization is VMware, there are many other companies that provide virtualization services. Amazon ,Dell, IBM, Microsoft are just some of the big names in the industry, and they all have cloud computing services to add to the mix as well. While Bellini didn't see the relevance of a public cloud for his company, private or hybrid clouds can provide the scalability and security midsize companies are looking for if the public cloud is too big a leap.

As more businesses make the move to the cloud and virtualized systems, it will become increasingly important for other businesses to make the same transition in order to remain competitive.

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.