Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Server Virtualization on BLADES

Blades and server virtualization have become very hot topics within IT organizations and the data center as strong foundational building blocks to address issues that have been challenging IT for years. A lot of users are out of, or running out of, space in their data centers. Many are maxed out on their power consumption. Both blades and virtualization address these challenges in different ways.

One of the top projects that a lot of users are dealing with is consolidation: For example, they have a large number of servers, many running only one application to create separation and isolation, so if they have a failure it doesn't affect other things. Each of those servers tends to have a very low-utilization rate, so they are running 5 or 10% CPU utilization. They have a lot of hardware, very poorly utilized, taking up a lot of space and using a lot of power.

IT organizations required to do more with less are saying why do I need this? Can't I consolidate into fewer servers, take up less space and use less power? When blades and virtualization are used together as part of a revamping implementation project, they deliver a lot of value, both for the effort required in the implementation and for the hardware and software dollars spent.

For example: I take this large number of underutilized servers, I consolidate them using server virtualization – so now I can run four to 20 virtual servers on one physical server. I can implement those on blades, which gives me very high density for the physical servers that I do have, plus the sharing of all of the components that blade servers offer. I am now providing the same, or more horse power to run my business applications, in less space, with less power, less cooling, shared, modular components, providing high availability, and a flexible and agile infrastructure. Now if I need to move things around for availability, maintenance or load balancing, I have strong management tools offered both by blade server systems and virtualization software. And I have modular hardware components with a lot of hot swap, redundant, high availability capabilities built into them.

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