Advanced server virtualization: Server consolidation

Server consolidation through server virtualization will help organizations save money in the datac enter. This excerpt from "Advanced Server Virtualization:VMware and Microsoft Platforms in the Virtual Data Center" tells you how.

Many organizations today have several servers, each performing a dedicated task. These servers include file servers, print servers, e-mail servers, Web servers, database servers and other application servers. It is not uncommon to have applications that require or strongly recommend a dedicated server, usually because the software does not coexist particularly well with other applications installed within the same operating system. In these situations, organizations will purchase small dedicated servers to host these applications, many of which have a low rate of utilization because the application has only a small number of users or because it may be used infrequently, such as once a month. The problem with this scenario is that the organization must incur a capital expenditure of $6,000 or more and that the processor, memory and disk storage of the new dedicated server are highly underutilized and essentially wasted. Over time, the data center may support many small, highly underutilized servers hosting dedicated applications, also incurring the data center hosting costs (ping, power and pipe) for each server.

Server virtualization can help organizations save money in the data center through server consolidation. Many, if not all, of the organization's highly underutilized application servers may be moved from physical hardware into virtual machines. Applications requiring a dedicated server still meet that requirement because a virtual machine is a dedicated server with its own, fully isolated virtual hardware and operating system. Many of these virtual machines may be hosted on a single physical server by means of the virtualization platform. As new dedicated application servers are needed, instead of purchasing new physical servers, virtual machines may be created on existing virtualization host servers. The density of virtual machines, which may be hosted on a single virtualization host server, depends on several factors including the number of processors, the amount of memory, and disk storage space on the physical host server, the virtualization platform (installed on the host server), and the amount of resources consumed by the virtual machines. It is not uncommon to have 10:1 or higher server consolidation ratios for highly underutilized servers.

Use the following table of contents to navigate to chapter excerpts, or click here to view Business cases for server virtualization in its entirety.



Advanced Server Virtualization

  Home: Business cases for server virtualization: Introduction
  1:Server Consolidation
  2: Legacy server and application support
  3: Disaster recovery
  4: High availability 
  5: Adaptive computing
  6: On-demand computing 
  7:Limitations of server virtualization

Advanced Server Virtualization: VMware and Microsoft Platforms in the Virtual Data Center focuses on the core knowledge needed to evaluate, implement and maintain an environment that is using server virtualization. It emphasizes the design, implementation and management of server virtualization from both a technical and a consultative point of view. It provides practical guides and examples, demonstrating how to properly size and evaluate virtualization technologies. This volume is not based upon theory, but instead on real-world experience in the implementation and management of large-scale projects and environments. Currently, there are few experts in this relatively new field, making this book a valuable resource. Purchase the book from Amazon
David Marshall is currently employed as a software engineer for Surgient Inc., a software company based in Austin, Texas, that provides software solutions that leverage x86 server virtualization technologies. He holds a B.S. in finance and an Information Technology Certification from the University of New Orleans. He has been working with virtualization software for the past six years. Dave McCrory works as chief scientist for Surgient Inc. He has filed several patents around server virtualization and management of virtual machines and has worked with virtualization technology for more than five years. Wade A. Reynolds is employed as a senior consultant by Surgient Inc. He has been designing and implementing enterprise solutions based on virtualization technology on a daily basis for more than three years, including VMware ESX Server and Mircosoft Virtual Server from its pre-beta release.


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