Published/updated: November 2009
by Dale Vile and Jon Collins
Justifying the purchase of x86 servers to run new applications has never appeared a real issue for most organisations. Indeed, as costs have come down for ever more powerful kit, the server procurement habit has often led to the accumulation of large x86 estates made up of multiple generations of equipment. But as these estates have grown over time, have they kept up with the real demands of the business from a service delivery perspective? And with this question in mind, what is the case for investment in modernisation of the x86 environment?
Businesses are dependent on x86 servers running Windows and Linux
Feedback gathered during a recent survey of almost a thousand IT professionals confirmed it is typical for larger organisations to be running many hundreds, if not thousands, of Windows and/or Linux x86 servers, with even smaller entities often above the ten server level. Running workloads ranging from database management, through application and web serving, to security services, there is no doubt that the x86 server is now very much part of the IT and business fabric.
Yet performance of x86 estates can leave a lot to be desired in many cases
During our research, four key performance indicators (KPIs) were considered - quality of service, time to benefit for new capability, risk management, and operational efficiency. For every indicator, while some organisations are achieving great success, a similar number are failing to deliver acceptably, with those in the middle having room for improvement to one degree or another.
At a detailed level, a number of specific drivers for change and evolution exist
Apart from improving overall performance, a number of more specific drivers of change and evolution are evident. From a business perspective, these are mostly to do with supporting the dynamic nature of the modern business environment, dealing with data growth, supporting new or changing application functionality, etc – i.e. the main imperative is to allow more to be done. From a technical and operational perspective, virtualisation stands out as being the most prominent agent of change.
Single dimensional views of modernisation can lead to missed opportunity
Those with older x86 estates tend to perform significantly less well, as do organisations with big gaps in their monitoring and management capability. When looking to drive improvements, however, it is worth bearing in mind that modern equipment is inherently more manageable and capable of supporting virtualised environments, as well as providing greater operational visibility. Dealing with either hardware upgrade or operational improvement alone therefore means opportunities will be missed and return on investment will not be maximised.
A joined-up service-centric approach is recommended
When reviewing current capability and looking at modernisation options, there is value in taking a holistic approach with the overall objective of creating an efficient, flexible and well managed virtualised environment. Defining the problem in terms of overall service delivery will help to make sure that infrastructure modernisation is acknowledged as a legitimate part of the business agenda.
Study based on feedback gathered via an online survey of 979 IT professionals from the UK, USA, and other geographies.
This report is free of charge. Click above to download the PDF or view the interactive e-document.
If you experience any problems during this process please contact us at;
firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0)1425 626501 / 620008
By Dale Vile
By Dale Vile
Creating a more customer centric business environment has historically been hard to achieve. In this paper, we will examine how technology and market trends, together with changes in the regulatory landscape, are elevating the status of customer centricity from ‘aspirational ideal’ to ‘business critical imperative’. ...more
By Dale Vile, Tony Lock, Jack Vile
With the phenomenal rise in the adoption of smartphones, tablets and other desirable devices, many pundits predict that the direction of corporate IT will increasingly be defined by end users. But does this make sense? ...more
By Dale Vile & Tony Lock
If it has been a while since you thought about your DR measures, or a review has been prompted by a risk assessment, compliance audit, actual disaster or some other scare, it’s worth taking some time to understand what can be achieved in light of important changes that have taken place over the past few years. ...more
By Tony Lock
With the advent of digitisation, all public sector environments generate and capture a significant amount of electronic data. Against this background, this paper explores how to manage costs and risks while meeting these changing needs through ‘active archiving’. ...more
By Dale Vile
In some organisations, the tension between IT and business teams has come to a head around the topic of devices & the so called ‘Bring Your Own Device’ phenomenon.It’s time for IT and business managers to get together & start a proper dialogue about how to deal with evolving requirements. ...more
By Dale Vile