Virtualization, Virtual Machines (VM), and the reduction of our carbon foot print…

How Can Vitalizing Save You Money?

Virtualization, Virtual Machines (VM), and the reduction of our carbon foot print is the buzz around the Net. The questions for most companies tend to be: is it affordable and does our company have the expertise to pull it off? While virtualization can reduce the number of servers needed to run a business, thereby reducing power consumption and cooling costs, there are many other factors to take into consideration. The biggest one is always cost, but there are options like using a VM provider. VM providers give companies the ability to have high availability and redundancy without the high cost of enterprise licensing and the high cost of enterprise hardware, which needs to be replaced every couple of years. If you’re considering virtualization with the purpose of increasing service availability, here are some things to think about:

1. First and foremost you need to have a strong and secure facility.
2. High availability requires your facility to have redundant electric feeds.
3. High availability needs to include redundant generators and UPS systems.
4. Redundant routing and switching equipment.
5. Multiple paths to the internet over separate fiber and carriers.
6. A proper environmental system to ensure hardware does not shut down due to heat or water xposure.
7. Waterless fire suppression system like an FM200 unit.
8. Redundant cooling systems.
9. Security to ensure only authorized personnel can gain physical access to equipment.
10. Multiple servers in clusters.
11. Redundant storage of data.
12. Licensing that provides high availability clustering, and virtualization.
13. IT staff to configure it, install it and maintain it.

If you’ve decided you want to build our your own facility, keep in mind to meet redundancy and failover capacity needs you could easily be looking in neighborhood of $1200 – $1500 per square foot.[1]

A True Story

If you’re still with me and your eyes haven’t glazed over here’s a case study along with pricing. This example shows how we were able to leverage our facilities and VM offering to save our customer money through virtualization (we have changed the names to protect the innocent):

Currently Customer A has three servers in a rack. As a managed customer, with systems they brought in from a different facility, one of the first things we mentioned was none of their servers had redundant or high availability data storage. In short any loss of a hard drive would be catastrophic. The first solution to this problem would be to build a new server with the proper drive redundancy and migrate their data to the new server. This would be a long and high dollar solution. The other solution would be to perform a P2V (Physical to Virtual) migration. This could be done with very little downtime and would make an exact copy of the physical server onto a virtual server. We could then bring the virtual server online in our VM environment. We would also be able to connect the new virtual servers to their office using an existing point to point circuit.

This solution almost completely eliminates Customer A’s need for a rack. They went from a full rack down to 2U of rack space, increased their reliability and saved $250 a month.

Not so long ago cost made it almost impossible for a small company to be in a high availability data center. At $1000 a month for rack space plus redundant power and bandwidth the cost was not justifiable for the small business owner. Small companies were forced to find a closet or some other space to put their servers. With VM however, a small VM server from a provider in a high availability facility is very affordable (An entry level VM is under $100/month). It may not make sense to build your own data center, but with the right VM provider you can level the playing field. Small to medium sized businesses can now enjoy the same benefits that only large companies could afford in the past.

There are always going to be companies with very strict security requirements or special needs. These special needs will dictate the solution and a shared VM environment will not always be the answer. For these customers we still have racks.

If you would like more information or pricing on our VMware offering please give us a call at 419-724-5300.

[1] http://www.availability.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=article&id=C6F45EE4-B0D0-AA9B-6F53A78049B435CC&type=Expert%20Commentary

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