Thursday, March 1, 2007

Why Virtualize?

Are your IT costs getting out of control, as multiple desktops, platforms, applications, and software versions proliferate across your organization? Do you know how much you’re really spending throughout the IT lifecycle? How can you reduce these IT costs? How can you lower your TCO? Why should you go ahead with (server) virtualization?

In 2006, I spent an entire month calculating, analyzing and assessing the TCO of the server park of one of the largest universities in the Netherlands - the Hanze University. They have over a hundred and twenty servers in their production environment. I, along with the IT managers, concluded that virtualization is imperative for any IT organization facing the aforementioned problems on account of the following:

  • Underutilized x86 boxes – Average CPU utilization rate of 5-10 % has become a norm rather than an exception
  • Repeatable Admin tasks – Installation of various softwares is done over and again for each and every physical server and thus, a lot of time and money is spent on repeatable tasks.
  • Floor Space – A lot of costly floor space is being used by the astronomical number of physical servers in the production environment.
  • Hardware / Support Costs – The servers and the service agreements cost a lot. Appropriate measures have to be taken to contain these costs before it’s too late.
  • Power / Cooling Charges – The ever increasing number of physical servers consume a lot of energy and you end up getting huge bills for the electricity charges.
  • No time / money left for R&D

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