Over many recent blog posts, we’ve talked about the major benefits of virtualisation projects and how to squeeze as much ROI as possible from them.
There are clear benefits including cost savings through hardware consolidation; the need for fewer servers in the estate along with fewer network ports; less data centre space and so on.
However, often little time is spent considering the lifecycle of the hosting virtual servers themselves. Some organisations stick to a three year asset depreciation or write off period because they are bound by company financial policies.
Virtual server hosting is solely about compute power (CPU, RAM and I/O), simply eliminating the dependency an application or operating system has on the hardware layer.
So, the smart thing to do is to calculate compute capabilities of the entire virtual estate versus the cost of rack space in the data centre.
This will evaluate the worth a hosting device has and create a virtual versus physical ‘price book’ for the data centre. This will result in some pleasant surprises for many companies including cost savings benefits.
It will also further drive the business case for future virtualisation projects, including virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployments, by having the cost capability mature within IT and justifying future expansions and upgrades.
VDI is a key strategy for many IT departments in 2009, which will allow the IT organisation to stretch assets further due to the lower CPU delivery requirements.
This approach may see assets utilised for four to six years instead of the normal three that many IT managers are used to.
There is a natural IT drive to keep up with current processor models, but the centralisation of data storage, virtual compute resources, and consolidation helps people adopt a service on demand model, and move away from the “keeping up with the Jones’s” attitude towards hardware.
To achieve all of this, it is essential that a suitable reporting metric, or managed service for virtual environments, is in place.
This needs to have the capability to detail performance requirements in terms of tiered service delivery for virtual machines and a comprehensive knowledge of the internal price model, costs and organisation works too.
This information will assist in elevating IT in the service maturity model, and move closer to a service delivery organisation.