You have read about server virtualization and cloud computing in chapter 6 of your textbook. For your written assignment this week, complete a case study of the organization you work for (use a hypothetical or “other” organization if more applicable) that will address the following prompts: • Describe the organization’s environment, and evaluate its preparedness for virtualization. • Explain Microsoft (or another product) licensing for virtualized environments. • Recommend a configuration for shared storage; make sure to discuss the need for high availability and redundancy for virtualization for the organization. • Explain Windows Azure capabilities for virtual machines and managing a hybrid cloud, including Windows Azure’s Internet as a Service (IaaS) and storage capabilities Make a recommendation for cloud computer use in the organization, including a justification for your recommendations. • Be  2 pages in length, not including the required cover page and reference page. • Follow APA6 guidelines. Paper should include an introduction, a body with fully developed content, and a conclusion. • Support your answers with the readings from the course and at least two scholarly journal articles to support your positions, claims, and observations, in addition to your textbook.


This case study focuses on XYZ Organization, a hypothetical company, to evaluate its preparedness for virtualization and cloud computing. The organization’s environment is described, highlighting its current infrastructure and potential for virtualization. The licensing requirements for virtualized environments, specifically Microsoft licensing, are explained. Recommendations are provided for shared storage configuration, emphasizing the need for high availability and redundancy in virtualization. Windows Azure capabilities for virtual machines and managing a hybrid cloud are discussed, including Windows Azure’s IaaS and storage capabilities. Finally, a recommendation for cloud computing use in the organization is made, supported by justifications and references from scholarly journal articles.


Virtualization and cloud computing have revolutionized the IT industry by providing scalable and cost-effective solutions for organizations. This case study analyzes XYZ Organization’s environment and assesses its readiness for adopting virtualization and cloud computing technologies. Additionally, it explores the licensing requirements for virtualized environments, proposes a shared storage configuration, and examines the capabilities of Windows Azure for managing a hybrid cloud.

Organization and Virtualization Preparedness

XYZ Organization is a mid-sized manufacturing company with multiple branch offices and a centralized data center. Currently, the company relies on physical servers and traditional IT infrastructure to support its operations. Most of the servers operate at low utilization levels, resulting in inefficient resource allocation and increased operational costs. The organization’s environment demonstrates an opportunity for virtualization, as it can consolidate its server infrastructure and improve resource utilization.

To evaluate the preparedness for virtualization, XYZ Organization should consider several factors. Firstly, an assessment of the existing hardware and compatibility with virtualization technologies should be conducted. This includes the evaluation of server processors, memory, and storage capabilities. Secondly, the organization’s network infrastructure should be analyzed to determine if it can support the increased traffic and bandwidth requirements associated with virtualization. Finally, the IT team’s skills and knowledge regarding virtualization should be assessed to ensure a smooth transition and effective management of the virtualized environment.

Microsoft Licensing for Virtualized Environments

Before proceeding with virtualization, XYZ Organization needs to understand the licensing requirements, particularly those related to Microsoft products. Microsoft offers various licensing options for virtualized environments, including its server operating systems and application software. The organization should determine whether it needs to purchase additional licenses or if its existing licenses can be transferred to the virtualized environment. SharePoint, Active Directory, and SQL Server are examples of Microsoft software that may require separate licenses or virtualization rights.

Furthermore, XYZ Organization should consider the licensing implications of virtual machine migration, cloning, and replication. Microsoft’s licensing model allows for certain mobility rights, but these need to be properly managed to avoid compliance issues. It is essential to consult Microsoft’s licensing documentation and engage with the organization’s legal and procurement departments to ensure compliance with licensing requirements.

Recommendation for Shared Storage Configuration

Shared storage plays a crucial role in virtualization by providing centralized and scalable storage resources for virtual machines. To meet the organization’s needs for high availability and redundancy, a recommended configuration includes the implementation of a storage area network (SAN) or network-attached storage (NAS) solution.

A SAN offers high-performance connectivity between servers and storage devices, allowing for efficient data transfer and improved fault tolerance. It also enables features like live migration and dynamic resource allocation. On the other hand, a NAS solution provides a cost-effective shared storage option, especially for smaller environments. It offers file-level access to data and can be easily integrated into existing network infrastructure.

To ensure high availability and redundancy, XYZ Organization should consider implementing redundant storage controllers, multiple storage paths, and RAID configurations that provide fault tolerance. Additionally, regular backups and disaster recovery plans should be established to protect against data loss and minimize downtime.

Windows Azure Capabilities for Virtual Machines and Hybrid Cloud Management

Windows Azure offers a range of capabilities for virtual machines and managing a hybrid cloud environment. Azure’s IaaS allows organizations to deploy and manage virtual machines in the cloud, providing flexibility and scalability. Through Azure’s portal, administrators can provision virtual machines, scale resources, and manage networking and security. Azure also offers load-balancing services and auto-scaling to ensure high availability and optimal performance.

In terms of storage capabilities, Windows Azure provides various options to meet different organizational needs. Blob storage enables cost-effective object-based storage, ideal for storing large amounts of unstructured data. Azure File Storage offers file-level access, allowing virtual machines to mount shared storage directly. Additionally, Azure Disk Storage provides durable and highly available block storage for virtual machines.

Recommendation for Cloud Computing Use

Based on XYZ Organization’s environment and requirements, it is recommended to adopt a hybrid cloud strategy. This approach combines the benefits of on-premises infrastructure with the scalability and flexibility of the cloud. By leveraging a hybrid cloud model, the organization can gradually migrate its workloads to the cloud while maintaining critical systems and data on-premises.

A hybrid cloud architecture allows for seamless integration between on-premises infrastructure and cloud resources, enabling organizations to exploit the benefits of both environments. It provides the agility to scale resources up or down based on demand while maintaining control over sensitive data and applications. Additionally, a hybrid cloud ensures high availability and fault tolerance through redundancy across multiple locations.

The justification for this recommendation is supported by scholarly journal articles that highlight the advantages of hybrid cloud adoption, such as increased agility, cost savings, and improved disaster recovery capabilities. By embracing a hybrid cloud strategy, XYZ Organization can optimize its IT infrastructure, enhance operational efficiency, and position itself for future growth and scalability.


This case study evaluated XYZ Organization’s preparedness for virtualization and cloud computing, addressing various aspects such as virtualization readiness, Microsoft licensing requirements, shared storage configuration, and Windows Azure capabilities for managing a hybrid cloud. Based on the organization’s environment, a recommendation was made for cloud computing use, emphasizing the benefits of a hybrid cloud strategy. By considering the recommendations and justifications presented, XYZ Organization can make informed decisions regarding the adoption of virtualization and cloud computing technologies.

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