Server Virtualisation beyond Consolidation

A North American perspective


Published/updated: September 2010

By Jon Collins

In a nutshell:

Many organisations have adopted server virtualisation to support their infrastructure consolidation activities, and are reaping the benefits. However, there is more to server virtualisation than simply supporting the consolidation of workloads onto a reduced set of hardware platforms. Is there life for virtualisation beyond server consolidation in North America, and what challenges need to be overcome?

Key points:

By way of background, it is important to appreciate the way data centres function today. Contrary to what some might think, most data centres are functioning reasonably well, even if traditional challenges of funding and responsiveness remain prevalent.

Server consolidation through virtualisation is seen as one of the most important initiatives in data centres today. Resulting virtualisation activity continues apace, with activity in the Windows environment running ahead of Linux and other platforms. However, activity may be slowing down in the future.

Workloads that are reported as being more of a target for virtualisation are application servers, Web servers, departmental apps and Web apps, whereas commercial applications and other workloads are of less interest.

Server virtualisation is seen as having a far greater impact on management, operations, architecture and procurement by those with extensive experience, compared to those starting down the track. The implication is that the actual level of impact is not being taken into account in advance, and may come as a shock when the full impact is felt.

The bottom line is that organisations may find moving beyond consolidation-byvirtualisation more of a challenge than predicted. To take server virtualisation seriously, and therefore reap the benefits that result, needs a mindset that views virtualisation as an integrated element of the dynamic data centre infrastructure, and not just as a consolidation tool.


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