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What are some benefits of workload abstraction?

Q:

What are some benefits of workload abstraction?

A:

The benefits of workload abstraction in an IT environment have much to do with taking a more sophisticated look at computing systems and how they run. Companies can use more evolved hardware and software architectures, such as virtualization and cloud computing, to change the way data sets are handled in a complex system.

In the more primitive days of business computing, the traditional standard was a set of on-premises servers handling requests from external sources. Things like virtualization and cloud computing had not yet risen to offer enterprises the ability to move and shift workloads across an architecture, and into other places, such as vendor architectures.

Many of the benefits of workload abstraction relate to the cost of operations, the footprint of an IT system, and other practical considerations. By abstracting workloads and application tasks, companies can get more out of their hardware and achieve more efficient results in IT.

Some of the more advanced benefits of workload abstraction can be seen in new container virtualization systems. Rather than operating applications on “bare metal” (directly on hardware), container systems allow engineers and developers to run applications in highly virtualized systems, in individual containers sharing an operating system with a host. A containerization system embodies the principle of workload abstraction – it takes tasks and executes them in a versatile environment, where they are more “virtualized” or separated from a traditional logical hardware structure. Containerized virtualization can help run an entire application in a single IT system, rather than requiring distributed resources. It can also help developers to test how a particular application would run in any given system or environment as well as help with things like disaster recovery.

Some experts ask people to think of workload abstraction as a process that helps move data and tasks between different types of systems. For example, the principle of workload abstraction helps with moving workloads or tasks from an on-premises system to an off-premises system, i.e., to a vendor system. It would help with the process of moving workloads or tasks between different types of data centers, for example, short-term or long-term data repositories. In general, workload abstraction helps to make software computing more portable, to make enterprise systems more versatile, and to make company operations more efficient and scalable.

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Written by Justin Stoltzfus
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Justin Stoltzfus is a freelance writer for various Web and print publications. His work has appeared in online magazines including Preservation Online, a project of the National Historic Trust, and many other venues.
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