Most IT professionals have used some kind of virtualization software on there personal computers because they see the benefit of having a single point and click access to there secondary O/S. This is very convenient. The hardware available today is more powerful and flexable then before. Having 2-8 cores on a single processor with GB-TB’s or memory is the norm these days and purchasing another server to do the same tasks you did on 4 single pizza boxes, blades or towers with a single core almost can be a waste of resources on money.
Let us see how in various ways virtualization can be a benefit to the IT field.
- Development / Labs
- Single Point Management
- Disaster Recovery
Development / Labs:
Almost all medium to large sized businesses serious about there company’s infrastructure have a complete hardware mirror of there production environment for there testing and development needs. Replicating your exact production environment equipment and software does mitigate future migration for software and hardware upgrades or changes, but comes at a cost. Some companies abandon that idea for that reason, only to rely and risky live or scheduled times to make changes to there current production environment.
A Virtual lab can lessen the pain for both the IT staff responsible for the changes, and gives the same peace of mind when new projects need to be implemented as you do with a real replication of your environment. With a virtual lab you cut the needed servers in half or more depending on the hardware available and what you plan on using them for.
Almost every company has a few common services they require i.e. print server, active directory or user authentication server, licensing server or a backup server to name a few. These are services that can be shared on a few single hosts. Instead of having 4 dedicated servers for each service, you now have 2 or maybe 1 doing all these tasks at once!
Some may ask, wait a second here wouldn’t that be pushing it?
Yesterday we had single core dual socket possibly quad socket boards were the choice for your high end processing needs.
Today for the same price you paid for that high end server you get up to eight sockets with quad core processors! That is the equivalent of 6 additional servers in one. What does that mean? Less power consumption, more room for growth, maximized server resources and less required cables when running up to 6 servers or more (virtual appliances) on a single server vs. 6 dedicated servers!
How much does it cost to keep the power flowing to all your servers 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year?
For every server that is removed from the data center, approximately 12.5 tones of CO2 emissions are saved industry estimate. To offset the 12.5 tones of CO2 you would need to plant 55 Native trees each year if you plan on keeping that server. If you have 1000 servers, 12,500 tones of CO2… you need to plant 55,000 trees a year to offset it. If you virtualized 1000 servers over 3 years you don’t need to plant 55,000 trees.
Single Point Management
Every IT professional has some type of tool for managing there hardware whether web based or application based. There are also hundreds of them out there that do the job quite well. Do you want to juggle between the various types of management software or just a single one?
Vmware has a standard console that manages all your virtual appliances with a single click. From here you can reboot, modify or add system requirements as necessary without interfering with the other appliances.
All virtual appliances are fully customizable to suit your requirements. Each initial appliance you create can be a single dynamic large file or multiple spanned files that can be backed up or run on any vmware server for rapid deployment and recovery. In the event of a server failure or major disaster most likely the “Dell beefy R2-D2 series” you purchased 5 years ago is discontinued, you will be forced to re-build from scratch on a new server. This can be costly and time consuming. Instead you install your vmware server in 10 minutes or less just copy you’re backed up appliance and your back in business. No need to install Microsoft Windows Server, drivers, updates which can take up to most of the day!
There are many benefits and case studies on using vmware on your servers. Just search in google.ca. I myself have and is enough for me to start finding areas to consolidate our servers for the future. This solution is a must to investigate into and see how it can benefit your environment. The savings are huge not only on the company’s pocket but the environment as well!