THERE’S an old joke that goes something like this:
Question: How many people work here? Answer: About half of them!
Well, when it comes to a server system, the answer could be that as little as 15 per cent of a system’s capacity is being used.
But there is a way of using servers to a greater capacity through something known as ‘virtualization’.
In this way, servers can use up to 80 per cent of their capacity.
Virtualization, or more specifically server virtualization, is a way of tricking a system into running more applications than it normally would.
The upshot means a business needs to have fewer servers, which can be a significant cost saving.
Apart from savings in hardware, there should be lower energy bills from less power consumption.
More than that, fewer servers should be easier to manage and can be used to help a business respond to changing demands.
Simplification could mean IT staff being freed up from sorting out problems to thinking about how technology can be used to help the business grow.
One issue to consider however is the potential creation of conflict between applications running on the same server.
Applications running at the same time have the potential to slow down a system’s performance. As a result it is up to administrators to be really on top of their systems and to think through how a virtualized centre would operate.
Virtualization experts would be able to provide advice and perhaps training to help administrators make the most of new ways of working.
In changing to a virtualized system, companies will also want to make sure that they are able to continue to use applications and operating systems without modification.
But that is only one of the myriad issues companies should consider when they are looking at virtualization. It is important to have an implementation plan.
Once server virtualization has been implemented, companies can also look into storage virtualization, which is a way of turning different servers into a single storage entity.