IT Business Edge contributor Arthur Cole recently spoke with Greg Schulz, founder and senior analyst of StorageIO. The two spoke about how virtual data centers, when compared to current architectures, can improve operations and increase efficiency. Schulz also gave advice on how to accomplish moving toward a virtual data center.
"The first step is realizing that virtualization means more than consolidation. It's a tool that provides abstraction, transparency, agility and flexibility. You should be looking at your different applications, servers, storage, data sets to determine where the core issues are. Then you'll want to start using virtualization to support data migration for business continuity/disaster recovery -- going to that awareness of what the technology can be used for. Where are the pain points to leverage the technology beyond consolidation?
"The third step is where you need to start re-architecting, re-optimizing and looking at it as a tool for hardware as well as software savings. If you bring 10 servers down to one server, you still have 10 virtual servers, 10 operating systems, 10 licenses, 10 tool sets, applications and other things that need to be managed. Go and re-architect software-wise, as well as in your processes and procedures. You've saved on hardware, but what about software and personnel expenses? You need to start looking at overall infrastructure resource management in which you optimize the entire architecture across the server, network and storage facilities. Start re-architecting the way things are done."
You can read an excerpt from Schulz' book, "The Green and Virtual Data Center," in the Knowledge Network.
Also check out this calculator, Green Data Center Calculator - Virtualization," which gives a quick approximation of the results you can expect from server virtualization.