Server Consolidation

Server Consolidation

In today’s market there is a constant demand to deploy, maintain and grow the broad array of applications and services, which in turn create a continuous need of adding more servers in the organizations. The global data center server market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.73% over the period 2015-2019. So Server consolidation is gaining momentum in today’s world as it is the best way to optimize resources and the hardware an organization has..

Server Consolidation is a process of combining servers or replacing legacy servers with virtual systems, the cloud or SaaS to make the IT environment more efficient.
Information technology (IT) departments are always under increasing pressure to devote more time and resources to strategic initiatives. According to the IT industry estimates, the existing systems are so complex that it requires 70% or more of IT resources to maintain the systems than developing new IT capabilities.

Generally the global mega data center market is segmented by IT and support infrastructure solution- Servers, Storage solutions, Networking solutions, Power solutions, Security solutions, software management and Industry verticals. For many organizations, datacenter is one of the primary sources of complexity. Organizations prefer optimal performance and accessibility for server based resources i.e. websites and line-of-business services. This multiplies the number of dedicated servers for specific services increasing costs to build and maintain these redundant server farms.

Server consolidation/ virtualization is the new buzz in the IT industry. According to IDC reports, adoption of X86 server continues to be predominant in the market with more usage of computer server resources. Vendors in this space include HP, IBM, Dell, Cisco, Emerson, Schneider Electric, Fujitsu, Juniper, Intel, and EMC.

As per Gartner report HPE retained number 1 spot in the worldwide server market for 1st Quarter of 2016 followed by DELL and IBM. The capability to consolidate the server and to enhance resource utilization has gained the interest of System Integrators due to factors like processing efficiency & better resource utilization; reduced cost & improved management abilities. System Integrators are now able to deliver next generation datacenter solutions ensuring server consolidation results are long lasting and impactful. They (System Integrators) plan consolidation projects logically to streamline project timelines and predict better operational cost, to improve the quality of service delivery.

Challenges in Today’s Market

Server Sprawl: One of the major challenge for organizations surrounding the data centre is the issues related to server consolidations. Addition of more and more servers results in growing server sprawl, giving rise to challenges like:

Rising Costs: Addition of servers result in hardware multiplication giving rise in costs of power consumption, storage infrastructure, data centre upgrades/ new data centre and cooling the new set of network infrastructure.

Reduced Efficiency: Increase in server sprawl forces the IT departments to invest more time on additional tasks like server provisioning, configuration, monitoring and maintenance, thus hampering the time to improve infrastructure and service levels.

Decreasing manageability: Managing server’s gets more difficult as growing number of servers is directly proportional to the growth in applications. This eventually leads to a challenge of managing heterogeneous mix of hardware, server models, operating systems and configuration that IT departments need to support.

Benefits of Server Consolidation

Server consolidation simplifies management by reducing complexity and eliminating “server sprawl”; reduces costs – not only staff costs but also hardware, software and facilities costs; and improves service levels

An anecdotal evidence from large organizations indicate that typical savings on consolidation pro-jects run into millions of dollars! Furthermore, server consolidation also provides the opportunity to improve scalability and resilience (including disaster recovery) while consolidating storage.

Customers should consider the following below to harvest a good ROI from their consolidation in-vestment.
1. When considering consolidation, proper comparisons must be made. The TCO benefits of many consolidation are attained not just from consolidation, but also by comparing un-managed servers with managed servers; distributed environment with the consolidated environment; and old releases with new products.
2. For all infrastructure services (e.g., servers, storage, database), more than one-vendor strategy is ideal. By choosing a single vendor, your short-term discounts will be offset by an over-dependency on a single vendor, and negotiation positions will be weakened over time. We also recommend consolidation of OS which will set plans for future rationalization
3. Virtualize workloads to increase platform use. We recommend deploying the ARM tools first and then virtualize the hardware with blades and then the software. This in turn increases systems administration ratios and use of workloads that require it.