– Chad Calimpong, spokesperson for Dell (www.dell.com), says:
Modern data centers are facing a lot of changes due to the proliferation of mobile devices, the ever-increasing amounts of data, and the constant need for increased security and disaster recovery measures. Unfortunately, all of these demands have led to an increased level of complexity in many data centers, and while there has been talk about virtualization alleviating a lot of these concerns, it may not be quite as simple as that.
This day in age, people expect 24/7 access to a server; which means that uptime must be consistent and any device should be able to connect to it. This isn’t easy, and can add more complexity which can quickly impact many other aspects of the business, from data security and infrastructure to disaster recovery and compliance.
Despite these expectations though, the typical organization experiences an average of sixteen data center outages in a year. Patterns like this can cost companies millions of dollars. The most common cause of this downtime was reported as a system failure, but human error and natural disasters were also common. In other words, the more complex your data infrastructure, the more opportunities there are for failure and error.
Understanding the Complexity
Modern data centers must deal with an increasing number of business critical apps, the ever-increasing growth of data, and a nearly constant shift in the types of devices people use to access the server. This is challenging in the best of times but when you add to it inadequate funding and higher expectations, things really start to get difficult.
Server virtualization is one of those things that companies consider to drive the level of complexity. Just hearing about it seems to be enough to make management assume that it is going to be tough to use. Whether or not this assumption is correct can depend on the level of preparation, the size of the data center, and the types of services it needs to provide. Virtualization has made it possible for an organization to increase server utilization and provide easier access, but if it isn’t done properly, it really may result in a more complex or convoluted system.
As the complexity rises, so do the costs, lead times for storage migration, and time spent searching for data. Any downtime is harder to bounce back from because there could be a significant loss of agility. If you choose to implement a virtual machine, you must make sure that you are reducing, rather than increasing, the level of complexity.
Virtualization – Minimizing or Shifting Complexity and Costs?
Virtualization took a while to catch on, but now that it’s here many companies are using it as a sort of cure-all, assuming that it will correct most of their problems at the data center. To be sure, there are a lot of benefits to server virtualization, but that doesn’t mean it’s an automatic win in every situation.
If it turns out that virtualization is increasing the level of complexity, then costs are also likely to go up. It may seem like you are reducing costs in one area, but if you look closely, they may just be going up somewhere else. Making the switch to a virtual server means making sure that you are actually minimizing complexity and costs, rather than shifting them to another part of the company.
What You Can Do About It
There are a number of things that can be done to ensure your virtualization efforts provide the benefits you need to remain profitable. Training, standardized applications, centralized storage, and better hardware and security can all lead to a more streamlined system that provides the results you want. More than that though, assigning ownership of the information governance means that there will be people in your company that can take personal responsibility for the data center and work to reduce complexity and increase uptime, reliability, and simplicity.
What have you decided about virtualization in your own business?
Chad Calimpong has been recognized locally and nationally for his photography and video documentaries. He enjoys cooking, baking, and has a passion for technology and computers. He currently resides in Austin, Texas and is enjoying research about virtualization and business solutions. He recommends visiting dell.com for more information.