Feeds

Management vs. the virtual server

A look at how the industry is moving to abstraction

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

LinuxWorld Virtualization is certainly creating a lot of buzz in the industry, but despite the technology's hefty promises of cost cutting and consolidation, the vast majority of businesses are still running on physical hardware.

Headshot of Tony IamsTony Iams, senior analyst of enterprise IT research firm Ideas International has been busy sniffing around the data centers to get a feel for how the emerging technology is changing the way IT works. Ideas interviewed around 50 companies of various sizes that have deployed virtualization. The firm focused both on businesses using the industry-standard x86 platform as well as other classes of systems such as Unix, IBM's System i and mainframes.

At a LinuxWorld panel in San Francisco today, Iams explained the motivations for companies to move to a virtual platform and the pitfalls that arise from making the switch.

The dangling carrot

Ideas found the push towards virtualization is largely a bottom-up affair. The people in the IT department most often want to implement the technology to make their lives easier rather than a CFO demanding virtualization to save money.

How virtualization is actually implemented is generally split between x86 and UNIX servers. According to Iams, x86 virtualization is typically driven by large-scale consolidation - where a business has several fixed workload servers and want to stack them on virtual machines to have fewer boxes to maintain.

Unix virtualization, on the other hand, is driven by workload management and utilization. Where previously the IT staff would buy a large server configured for the peak workload of an application, virtualization allows the resources to be dynamically changed based on demand without shutting it down.

Few businesses interviewed were deploying storage virtualization. Most found, after crunching the numbers, that it wasn't worth the effort, and opted to buy more, traditional, storage devices.

Breaking even

For x86 platforms, the break-even point of consolidation is five-six servers. If a business is moving less than that onto a machine, they're spending more on virtualization software than they are saving on reducing infrastructure.

For Unix systems with variable workloads, being able to configure an application for average usage rather than peak times saves money if three or more can be put into a box running a virtual environment.

Reducing security risks from open source software

Next page: Mysterious savings

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.