Virtualization: Optimizing Hardware Utilization
Updated: May 22, 2019
By Licia Wolf
As technology becomes more efficient, our ability to utilize servers and other hardware improves as well. Computing tasks that used to take up an entire campus can now be done on a few racks.
The benefits of migrating to a virtual environment are compelling and can save costs, as discussed in our previous blogs (Sept. 12, Sept. 19). Here we examine how platform virtualization helps you to optimize your hardware utilization, and the advantages it provides.
Consolidating is the initial consideration for virtualizing your environment. How much consolidation will depend on the needs of your business, your applications, and the type of servers you choose. The extent of consolidation depends on several factors. Machines hosting virtual servers can cover a range of capabilities, depending on how many physical cores and the processing power they have.
Within a virtual environment, one or more virtual central processing units (vCPU) are assigned to every Virtual Machine (VM). Each vCPU is seen as a single physical CPU core by the VM’s operating system. The number of virtual processors available is determined by the number of cores available on the hardware. Four to eight vCPUs can usually be allocated to each physical core to accommodate varying workloads. We will be discussing this topic further in a future blog on Capacity Planning.
Server Quantity Reduction
Reducing the number of servers in your organization while accomplishing the same processing tasks results in a more efficient utilization of resources. This is accomplished by:
Reducing idle time in machines - Servers are optimized temporally, utilizing their resources more fully. For example, if one application is not running, the same host processor can be used to run another application.
More space available on a server - each server is configured to optimize its space usage, reducing extra unused server areas. Since virtualized applications run on their own separate virtual operating systems, they can work independently of each other. The limiting factor becomes memory and processing power.
Saving Physical Space
The benefits of reducing IT hardware are apparent with regard to office space-saving considerations. Fewer servers translates into increased floor space, which can be re-purposed for functions such as production space, meeting rooms, or workspaces. If enough footprint is reduced, downsizing the facility could also be an option. How much space you open up will depend on the extent of virtualization and the capacity of the equipment you use.
Re-Allocation or Reduction of IT Resources
Maintaining IT hardware requires qualified staff. Issues such as overheating, part replacement and upgrades, firmware and OS updates, and network security require constant attention to keep the system reliably up and running. With fewer servers to maintain, less time is needed for server maintenance from IT staff, freeing them to attend to other tasks, or perhaps requiring less people on staff.
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About the Author - Licia Wolf is the Marketing andCommunications Manager at HigherGround. She holds a Ph.D., and a professional background in electronics, internet marketing, and print/imaging technology. Click here for more information on Licia and the rest of the HigherGround team.
HigherGround, Inc. provides best-in-class, reliable data capture and interaction storage solutions that enable clients to easily retrieve critical information. Our interaction recording and incident reconstruction solutions transform data into actionable intelligence, allowing optimization of operations, enhanced performance, and cost reduction.