Earlier this week, I lectured at InfoWorld's Virtualization Summit on a topic that has interested me for a long time: uses of virtualization outside of the two principal use cases (server consolidation and developer testing of portability). Here is the slide deck from the presentation. It discusses security, training, demo's, desktop consolidation, and virtual appliances, among other uses.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
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I wanted to add a comment to your post. I too was at the Gartner conference and heard Tom Bittman from Gartner said, "If you're running to virtualization just to save money on space and power, you might be going in the wrong direction.” I take a slightly different view.
A company would be going in the wrong direction if they were not approaching virtualization in a smart way. If you do the right work up front, it can be an excellent way to address space and power. First you need to assess your infrastructure to see what the benefits will be. Then you need to look at newer servers that consume less power, as well as innovative and more cost-effective cooling alternatives. Then you need a virtualization software layer that is integrated end to end. And the whole thing needs to be on standardized hardware and software, so it runs together and is easy to manage. I think Dell offers a smarter path toward alleviating customer challenges around power, cooling and space, and virtualization is a key enabler of the technology.
Virtualization offers a number of tangible benefits for businesses:
- For companies that do not have the budget to build a new facility, virtualization can be an ideal way to grow while alleviating power/cooling challenges. In effect, you can get more compute power in the same space and power envelope. For example, Data Guard used virtualization from Dell to lower their power cost. With the Dell solution, utility costs were reduced by as much as $10,000/month – an 80% reduction, paying back the cost of the new solution in less than one year.
- Operational costs can be reduced by allowing companies to find new capacity within their existing data center, thus “unlocking their hidden data center.” For example, we had one customer (Tellabs) that virtualized an environment that included SAP and Cortex. They eliminated 100 physical servers, saving $150,000 per year in power costs and another $250,000 per year in hardware maintenance. Overall, they were able to meet capacity without buying another 250 servers, saving an additional $2 million.
- Storage challenges can be solved and virtualization can provide a new model for desktop computing.
So, those companies that are using virtualization as a strategy to manage space and power might be going in the wrong direction if they enter the project blindly.
My 2 cents. From Jeffatdell.
Just to clarify, I was not at the Gartner conference. As mentioned, this was the InfoWorld conference.
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