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Get Moving with Server Virtualization
Info-Tech Research Group, April 2010
Save money while building an agile, efficient and resilient server infrastructure.
- Situation. The trigger for considering server virtualization typically comes from a need to purchase or refresh server hardware. Vendors position virtualization as a cost saver and utilization booster through consolidation.
- Issue. Beyond server consolidation, tangible cost savings are more elusive. Real benefits derive from server management which can be more difficult to determine.
- Solution/Answer. Consolidation with virtualization is a proven cost saver. This set shows you how virtualization saves money and will lead to a more efficient and responsive infrastructure.
Virtualization is typically not driven by strategy but rather by tactical considerations in server refresh. Save 40% to 70% in capital expenses now through consolidation, however, careful planning is critical for long-term benefit.
Impact and Result
Server consolidation with virtualization is a proven money saver. Virtualization also enables a more agile and efficient infrastructure if managed effectively.
- Most organizations underestimate the people and productivity impact of major changes
- Most leaders are ill-equipped to communicate effectively while managing themselves through the change
- Staff is looking to its leaders to guide them and provide both the change drive and motivation and the safety nets at the same time
Get to Action
1. Start virtualizing now
Drive immediate savings while laying the foundation for nimble and efficient infrastructure
Success in server virtualization balances achievement of immediate cost savings goals with creation of an efficiently managed virtual server infrastructure
The need for management (and the return on that investment) grows as more servers are virtualized
- Storyboard: Get Moving with Server Virtualization
- Virtualization Scope Analysis Worksheet
- Virtualization Project Definition Template
2. Base the business case on consolidation savings
Capital expense savings of 40% to 70% are the most immediate and measurable benefits
Consolidation at as little as 3:1 ratio of physical to virtual machines can can yield capital savings
Maximizing consolidation is tempered by performance requirements and capacity requirements
- Saving Money Through Virtualization
- Virtualization Consolidation Cost Savings Calculator
3. Exploit the additional benefits of a managed virtual infrastructure
Streamline disaster recovery, provision server applications in minutes, boost server availability
Realize labor and maintenance efficiency through more agile and effective server management
Look toward building an agile, scalable, utility infrastructure (Internal Cloud)
- Virtual Servers Planning Goals: Take a Baby Bear Approach
Storyboard: Get Moving with Server Virtualization (Powerpoint)
Virtualization Scope Analysis Worksheet (Word)
Virtualization Project Definition Template (Word)
Saving Money Through Virtualization (Webcast)
Virtualization Consolidation Cost Savings Calculator (Excel)
Virtual Servers Planning Goals: Take a Baby Bear Approach (Word)
What you receive:
*Storyboard: Get Moving with Server Virtualization
Small to mid-sized enterprises rapidly progress from exploiting initial consolidation savings to additional benefits of managing virtual infrastructure, such as high availability and more agile disaster recovery planning. This storyboard looks at getting started on the virtualization journey and:
- How server virtualization success is achieved.
- How virtual servers make a difference.
- How to take advantage of server refresh to pilot virtual servers.
In server virtualization, act now for immediate tactical benefit and plan for longer term strategic benefit of managing a virtual server infrastructure.
*Virtualization Scope Analysis Worksheet
Beyond the scope of server acquisition and management, virtual infrastructure will have an impact on network management, security management, storage management, and business continuity/disaster recovery management. Application owners also need to understand how their applications will function in a virtual environment and executive sponsorship is a key success factor for virtualization initiatives.
This downloadable worksheet will help in the identification of the following:
- Reach and impact of virtualization.
- Effected standards and procedures.
- Cost savings opportunities.
- Planning constraints and mitigation steps.
- Key stakeholders.
- High-level goals.
The most often cited challenges to virtualization are related to people and processes, not technology. Take some time to think about all the people and processes that would be impacted by virtualization. This exercise will help mitigate costly pitfalls in longer term virtualization efforts.
*Virtualization Project Definition Template
The most often cited challenges to virtualization are related to people and processes, not technology. Having looked at the people and processes that will be impacted by a move to a managed virtual machine infrastructure for enterprise applications, now is the time to pull together a preliminary planning document.
This downloadable template will help in the articulation of the following:
- Project goals/description/scope.
- Proposed actions.
- Key dependencies.
- Project team membership.
- Possible project constraints.
- Project assumptions.
- Who will be impacted by virtualization?
- Mitigation steps for overcoming potential barriers.
Use the resulting document as the basis of discussion/approval of a virtualization strategy with senior decision makers. Executive sponsorship is a critical success factor for virtualization initiatives.
*Saving Money Through Virtualization
Virtualization presents IT with a sure-fire cost reduction opportunity. View this series of webcasts to discover how to best leverage virtualization within the organization. Issues explored in these webcasts include:
- Developing the virtualization business case.
- Assessing virtualization vendors.
- Establishing resource targets for the virtualization initiative.
- Identifying desktop virtualization as an additional improvement opportunity.
The cost-cutting recommendations in these webcasts will directly impact the bottom line. Use this guidance to reach short, medium, and long-term cost-reduction targets.
*Virtualization Consolidation Cost Savings Calculator
The authors have found that hardware acquisition costs can be mitigated by 40% to 75% through consolidation. However, consolidation savings will vary depending on factors such as OS and virtualization licensing costs. Of particular impact will be the consolidation ratio: the number of virtual machines to be hosted per physical machine.
Use this calculator to:
- Get a sense of the cost difference (savings) of consolidating servers in a virtual environment against the cost of buying individual physical servers for each application.
- Measure the impact on savings of various virtualization and Windows licensing options.
Gauge the impact on overall savings of increasing and decreasing the number of virtual instances per physical machine (the consolidation ratio).
- Default numbers in this tool are based on a modest consolidation project for 15 physical servers that need to be replaced. This involves purchasing three servers and VMware's Virtual Infrastructure SMB Acceleration Kit for High Availability, as well as Windows Server 2008 Data Center Edition for licensing unlimited virtual machine instances.
*Virtual Servers Planning Goals: Take a Baby Bear Approach
There are benefits to be gained from server virtualization. These benefits are maximized when virtualization becomes the basis for managing most x86 server environments. However, moving to a point where virtualization becomes an operational standard requires careful planning, executive sponsorship, and stakeholder involvement, as well as technical assessment and capacity planning.