Government virtualisation subsidies under fire

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Government virtualisation subsidies under fire

VMware has emerged upbeat from its latest round of efforts lobbying the Rudd government to subsidise enterprise adoption of virtualisation, but at least one IT insider is questioning the scheme’s logic.

The virtualisation giant met with the Federal Minister for the Environment , Peter Garrett, last week to discuss, among other things, the potential introduction of a scheme to encourage businesses to adopt virtualisation technology and reduce energy wastage.

Such schemes are said to be under rollout in the United States and in collaboration with energy utilities, according to Paul Harapin, VP Australia/New Zealand for VMware.

“This isn’t the first time we’ve discussed [with government] the deliverables that virtualisation provides in the war against carbon emissions,” said Harapin.

“We’ve been working for a while on the potential establishment of a forum where the IT industry would come together as a group and discuss issues around carbon reductions.”

“We discussed the potential to create one voice to provide constructive input into policy development and provide some distillation of the many voices coming into government on what is a complex issue.”

Harapin claimed that both the incentive scheme and industry forum concepts had been well-received.

VMware now plans to take discussions on the establishment of a virtualisation incentive scheme directly to Australia’s utilities companies.

However, Citrix CTO Martin Duursma has labelled the lobbying effort – and potential results of an incentive scheme – as lacking macro-economic benefit.

“You’ve got to look at what will provide the biggest benefit and ‘bang-for-your-buck’ for efficiency and the economy,” said Duursma.

“Where I think there could be some more out-of-the-box thinking is around what we’re doing with employees.

“Finding ways for employees to use technology more effectively and incentivising employers to adopt flexible and remote worker scenarios will provide a far greater return-on-investment than making a few servers more efficient,” Duursma said.

Citrix also claimed that both enterprises and governments are already aware of the potential of virtualisation, making further lobbying on the topic a waste of time.

But Harapin disagreed with the assessment.

“It’s not a sensible argument to say just because it doesn’t result in the biggest reduction of carbon emissions, don’t do it,” said Harapin.

“Power sourced for the data centre is up there with airline industry emissions. Governments are responsible for looking at all aspects [of the issue].”
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