Driving datacentre efficiency through server & storage virtualisation
28-12-2010 - John Hatcher
Datacentre efficiency is a major concern for IT management as demands for services continue to increase while budgets continue to be reduced. Supporting growth and maintaining availability per the SLAs while mitigating the risks to critical data, systems, applications, and the computing infrastructure in the event of a system outage or disaster presents an ongoing challenge from both a technological and a business perspective.
Organisations must consistently find solutions that not only meet application and data requirements for capacity, performance, and availability, but also have proven return on investment and cost reduction capabilities.
The approach that companies traditionally take to address this issue is to provide a separate server and storage for each application.
For critical applications, this traditional strategy can require multiple servers for redundancy or scaling. Unfortunately, this approach dramatically increases the footprint that the IT department must manage. Large footprints require large IT staffs and more energy to maintain. In addition, rent and hardware costs skyrocket while licensing becomes much less efficient. When launching a new application in this scenario, spec development, software purchase and installation as well as new server preparation can easily take months to accomplish.
The growing number of servers significantly hinders standardisation and requires a continuously increasing spare part inventory. With each application and hosting server standing on its own, different tools are often required for each. This makes overall management, automation, and reporting very difficult. In order to service a system, downtime must be scheduled. This requires IT to take the system down manually which reduces system availability. This is required for every system update or hardware change.
In addition, because of rising power bills, cooling problems, usage limits imposed by local utilities, or requirements to deploy additional servers without expanding an existing datacentre or building a new one, energy efficiency is a top concern for IT managers.
To address energy efficiency, IT managers must look at a variety of issues ranging from the smallest piece of silicon to the entire datacentre. To effectively address the increasing datacentre efficiency concerns, many companies have chosen to virtualise their environments.
As a result, server virtualisation has become the cornerstone technology used to increase efficiencies and add dynamic capabilities to the datacentre. Complemented with storage virtualisation, the efficiencies can be increased even more dramatically. Together, they are the key to a highly efficient and dynamic datacentre.
Virtualisation is an end-to-end strategy that can profoundly affect nearly every aspect of the IT infrastructure management lifecycle. It can drive greater efficiencies, flexibility, and cost effectiveness throughout an organisation.
Adding the Compellent SAN solution to a Microsoft virtualized environment helps to efficiently manage the data lifecycle, automatically improve storage use, and increase server performance.
Compellent's advanced storage virtualization is integrated with Hyper-V and Windows PowerShell. This integration amplifies the benefits of server virtualization and reduces management overhead.
The Compellent SAN is built on an advanced virtualization engine that creates a smart, shared pool of storage resources. It uses Fluid Data architecture to actively manage data at a more granular level. This architecture significantly lowers storage infrastructure costs, reduces power and cooling costs by up to 93 percent, and recovers any size volume to any server in seconds.
A comprehensive virtualisation strategy has the power to transform the IT infrastructure. Virtualisation can be used to accelerate application deployments and ensure the availability of the system, application, and data. In addition, a good virtualisation strategy can simplify server and desktop shutdown and rebuilding for testing and development. These virtualisation capabilities reduce risk, cut costs, and improve the agility of the entire IT environment.
In summary, virtualisation has been a game changer for many companies. It has enabled companies that previously were unable to afford to deploy dynamic capabilities into the datacentre to begin implementing these efficient solutions.
For a copy of the full blueprint report please visit Increasing IT Efficiency in a Dynamic Datacenter with a Virtualized Storage Solution on the Compellent website.