How is Virtualisation helping Business?
Virtualisation allows businesses to get together operating systems application which would normally be residing on individual servers into software based virtual machines (VM’s) many of which would be ultimately on a single host or physical server. This tremendously increases portability, efficiency, manageability, reliability and end user abstraction for a business or organisation.
This is a key ability for businesses to contain and consolidate the number of IT server machines running Applications and Databases. Allowing multiple Applications and Operating systems workloads on a single server, up to 10 server machines running on a single physical server is nothing but the present norm, as expected dramatically reducing the power and cooling cost and providing for more computing power in less space.
As a result of this, Energy Efficiency is improved by almost 80%, less hardware means less power consumption. An underutilised x86 hardware, typically running only 1 application sits ideal for 80-85 % of the time, thus using the same amount of Energy that would be used when it is active, this inefficiency is not only wasteful but expensive, when electric costs and computing demand is always on a high everywhere, customers and end users want more from less.
There are a number of ways to measure server utilization, from the amount of CPU used to the actual data storage and RAM that can be saved, without any decrease in system performance, there are servers that sit idle waiting for useful work to come their way, and then there are servers running applications that are no longer needed or used by a business and are even considered abandoned. These abandoned applications can be moved to a virtual machine, so they can be used on need basis and the physical server decommissioned, and the space, power and cooling capacity recovered to support additional growth.
Even though virtualization adds another layer of abstraction between hardware and applications/data, resource management and utilisation has dramatically simplified, compared to the physical environment.
In order to reduce complexity and risk while improving productivity it is always easier for a single point of contact for all virtual machines, an organization should manage physical and virtual environments holistically together in the same way. Management is a key component of a converged infrastructure ensuring that customers have confidence in server virtualization and extend its many benefits across the Business. This allows our customers to respond rapidly to the business by increasing the flexibility of their environments and speed time to application value. Turnaround times for projects, disaster recovery and application testing have improved due to this.
Virtualization presents two key challenges as it applies to applications,
1) Understanding the impact of resource sharing.
2) Ensuring that adequate resources are provided to support existing and new application workloads.
The key to streamlining application environments is to first determine how the four core resources of any data centre; CPU, Memory, Disk and Network, support applications in the context of meeting performance, availability and service level objectives. Businesses need to understand the relationships and interactions between all the components in the virtual infrastructure and how the applications leverage them.
What once took hours can now be done in minutes. Not only can new servers be brought online quickly, but they can be broken down, rearranged, reassigned and redeployed to suit the needs of the moment.
Resource Allocation/Load Balancing:
This is the ability to shift virtual machines around, opens the possibility to redirect data loads according to business needs rather than IT requirements. Loads can be balanced evenly over multiple physical locations, or concentrated on just a few, so idle machines can be powered down to save resources consumption and time for maintenance.
Through a seamless automation platform, businesses can now leverage the benefits of virtualization as well as execute faster provisioning of infrastructure or applications. Automation solutions can replace labour-intensive processes with consistent, automated workflows that can save thousands in workflow costs and reduce the risk of error.
This ability to automate many of the more tedious jobs of IT Business Management is greatly improved because virtual resources now reside in the more ethereal software realm. In fact, tasks like data mapping, mirroring and backup are already automated because the virtual environment is so fluid.
Once you’ve gone virtual within the data centre and Business needs, it’s only a matter of time before you extend those capabilities to the outside world. Whether you opt for internal, external or hybrid cloud services, none of it is possible without the ability to virtualize physical resources and extend them to customers on need and demand basis.
A virtual environment can be up and running much faster than a physical one. As long as physical infrastructure is intact, provisioning and automation systems can have service restored in a matter of minutes. Not only does this improve recovery point objectives, but it lowers the overall cost for a business getting back on its feet.
Virtual Desktop and Beyond…
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) provides an alternative solution for traditional desktop environments, providing IT teams with the flexibility to quickly deliver and refresh desktops, reduces the threat of potential data loss or theft, lowers the complexity and cost of desktop management, and provides end users with the functionality of a standalone desktop.
Once virtualization has been introduced to the server farm, similar principles can be applied to the storage farm, I/O infrastructure and the desktop. The idea of creating many out of one, promises to extend efficiency and boost performance across a wide range of systems, resulting in a leaner, meaner business objectives with IT Management.