Organisations are seeking ways to consolidate their infrastructure in an effort to get a grip on increasing storage demands and reach their green goals.
But with servers spread here, there and everywhere, these days, it seems almost impossible to manage machines that have reached their maximum capacity, while others remain half full.
Consolidating an organisation's infrastructure will not only help their servers run more efficiently but could also lead to a reduction in total cost of ownership, datacentre capacity and power and cooling costs.
Most organisations don't stay one size for the rest of their business life, so having an infrastructure that's scalable and can grow as the business develops is also vital.
A virtual approach
Systems integrator, Oriel Technologies, has been in the local market for more than 10 years and recently implemented a virtualised server environment for one of its SMB customers. The client runs a manufacturing organisation and has about 40 sites across Australia with up to 400 users.
There were over 20 servers within the organisation, which were taking up a lot of datacentre space. Oriel managing director, Jake Wynne, said implementing a virtualised server solution reduced the customer's server count to six.
Oriel first assessed the utilisation of all the client's servers to be virtualised to ensure the solution was designed with the right capacity for existing infrastructure as well as future growth and to avoid any disruption to the client's business during the implementation process.
"As the organisation grows they can also grow more sustainably within that virtualised environment," Wynne said. "There was quite a substantial cost saving involved for the customer."
Most of the client's equipment was located in a datacentre but there were some machines scattered around to users as well, Wynne said. On top of that, the client had ageing infrastructure, which was causing issues with outages and downtime for maintenance. Some servers regularly maxed out their resource utilisation, which was slowing down performance to users, while other machines barely peaked above 10 per cent utilisation.
The cost of maintaining individual server hardware and managing data backup was another pain point for the customer.
"They had disparate storage deposits around the place and weren't able to share it among other machines, so consolidating and centralising it has given them shared access to all servers now," Wynne said. "With storage being very isolated previously, it created a lot of manageability and utilisation problems and through consolidating it all we're eliminating that."
Some of the key objectives for the client involved reducing the amount of rack space in its co-location facility, implementing a consolidated IT infrastructure that was easier to manage and delivering higher availability to the business, Wynne said.
Having shared server resources now means the client can obtain a much higher utilisation of infrastructure. They also have the ability to scale it and provision quickly when more capability is required. As an example, a new virtual server can be done in minutes and at a fraction of the cost of buying a physical machine, Wynne claimed.