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Infrastructure Optimization - Overview and Needs

IT Infrastructure challenges faced by the Business today are topics of significant analysis and research. Crucial business meetings are conducted to understand the challenges faced and optimization techniques possible to manage the same. Time critical decisions are delayed as a result of the involvement of senior management in handling this issue. Infrastructure optimization is the solution to handle the challenges in Infrastructure.

What are the challenging areas in infrastructure?

Challenges faced in IT Infrastructure can be isolated as cost and maintenance challenges. Data centers invest in server sprawl to maintain uninterrupted service to achieve productivity and performance optimization.
Datacenters are run with x86 servers with a single server managing the installation and management of relevant applications or product suite. These single server applications utilize between 10-15% of the server potential. As more applications are added to enhance the product, numbers of servers are added to support the applications. Though the utilization of server is only to the tune of 10-15%, a huge increase of 700% in number of servers has been witnessed in the period between 1995 to projected 2010 levels.
Increase in the number of servers has resulted in increase in power consumption and cooling system upgradation to maintain the servers under optimum temperature. Data center space acquired to accommodate a defined number of servers is faced with dilemma of accommodating more number of servers. Construction of new data centers to accommodate the new servers is a costly proposition with the real estate cost spiraling and cost per sq ft significantly higher than the initial real estate cost.

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Can the challenges faced by Data centers be resolved by reducing the server sprawl?

Data centers serve as the backbone of industries and reducing server sprawl to handle the challenging issues is not a solution. Reduction of server sprawl involves activities of configuration of server clusters for disaster recovery, performance tuning and reconfiguring physical servers with new applications, and migration of data and applications from one server to another.
Activities associated with reduction of server sprawl are time consuming requiring knowledgeable skilled resources combined with high cost. Typical data center have servers and support systems from multiple hardware vendors. These servers have models and configuration suiting the applications running on them from time to time, running on different operating systems for performance and stability. Reduction of server sprawl may give raise to compatibility issues in hardware, operating system installation and portability of supporting applications as the application may be running on a server of different configuration with different operating system.
Data center is a combination of hardware and software. Administrators are skilled resources with utmost efficient professional efficiency employed for regular maintenance of hardware and software. Every 20 to 30 servers require an administrator resulting in locking up of skilled IT talent. Process improvements in server management can relieve these efficient IT resources for other in-demand IT areas.
Leading analyst firm confirms the ratio of hardware expenditure to management related costs as 1 to 8. In a nutshell, every dollar expenditure on the server incurs 8$ expenditure towards management costs. This highlights the flexibility and manageability deficiencies of current infrastructure.

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What would be right approach to handle infrastructure challenges?

DSI Virtualization Service approaches the solution to the problem through infrastructure optimization, an all inclusive concept for issues relating to server sprawl and maintenance management. Infrastructure optimization is further subdivided into server consolidation and server containment for better approach. By deploying server consolidation infrastructure maintenance can be simplified by reduction of server sprawl.
We saw explanations and reasons to prove that reducing server sprawl is not a solution to infrastructure challenge. How is server consolidation dealing with reduction of server sprawl providing a solution to infrastructure challenges?
Infrastructure consolidation deals with reducing the number of physical servers and transforming the physical servers as virtual machines. A physical server can host a virtual machine server host. Virtual machine server hosts can have many virtual machines or servers in them thereby reducing the number of servers but retaining the services rendered by the number of servers through virtual machines. Consolidation is a process of combining multiple entities to reflect as a single entity. So consolidation is effective as the number of virtual machines per virtual machine host increases - a three server consolidation reduces physical servers by three but a ten server consolidation reduces the data center density by ten servers.
Consolidation provides restructuring of existing data center to ensures cost effectiveness in the current scenario. As organization grows, demand for additions to applications and subsequent server growth to support the same is inevitable.
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Is consolidation a solution in futuristic growth?
Consolidation deals with the existing infrastructure and the challenges posed by the data centers in maintaining them. Containment involves the futuristic growth of the data center and the challenges fuelled by growth in hardware. Containment is a process of restricting server growth by deploying virtualization of servers wherever applicable. If a virtual host server hosts 8 virtual machines, it implies placement of 8 dedicated physical servers into one physical server. Pace of growth is now reduced to 1 physical server in lieu of 8 physical servers thereby reducing demand in infrastructure and maintenance. Containment controlling the growth of physical infrastructure is now present.

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What are the advantages of Infrastructure Optimization through virtualization?

DSI Virtualization Service relies on virtualization lowering total cost of investment towards ownership of servers. DSI Virtualization maximizes the return on Investment from the existing hardware. Concept of bundling virtual servers into one physical server results in operational efficiency.
DSI Virtualization Service increases server utilization from 10%-15% to 60%-80% by increasing multiple application hosting on a single physical server running multiple virtual machines through consolidation and containment. Deployment of DSI Virtualization Service reduces management of number of physical hardware with flexibility to concentrate on effective services management. Automation and IT flexibility is another key area of virtualization performance. Overall productivity of infrastructure is improved by improved capacity management
DSI Infrastructure Optimization results in productivity increase and reduction of capital costs by 40%, scalability for future growth, and flexibility in supporting automation and mission critical applications and cost optimization on real estate and infrastructure management expenditures.

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