The art of division

Server virtualisation is the first step to achieving higher productivity from IT infrastructure. Enterprises need to get it right before they can move to the next stage. NME examines the ways in which enterprises can shift smoothly to virtualisation and the mistakes they should avoid.

  • E-Mail
By  Sathya Mithra Ashok Published  April 5, 2008

Server virtualisation is the first step to achieving higher productivity from IT infrastructure. Enterprises need to get it right before they can move to the next stage. NME examines the ways in which enterprises can shift smoothly to virtualisation and the mistakes they should avoid.

The IT manager of the average enterprise in the Middle East is well aware that he only has to start uttering the word ‘virtualisation' to have vendors flocking to the door. In other words, enterprises are quite spoilt for choice when it comes to virtualisation technologies.

In theory, server virtualisation is about creating multiple servers within a certain piece of hardware to obtain maximum performance. In practice, it can be much more complicated.

However, virtualisation is a very broad term. It includes in its range a set of technologies that can change the way an enterprise functions and uses technology over time. But most people in the industry agree that the shift to these technologies has to begin at the server farm or, in other words, the datacentre.

Gautam Srivastava, VP for sales and marketing and MD of the Middle East, Africa and Pakistan for AMD says: "Within a datacentre, a server spends nearly 70% of its life doing nothing. Bringing in virtualisation, can help enterprises get a lot more from their hardware."

"Virtualisation is not just about servers. It is infrastructure, software, services, storage and PCs - it embraces all of IT. Servers are the first step. People can get their first experience of the technology by virtualising their servers and this proves to be an excellent first step in looking at all the aspects of virtualisation," says Arnaud Gardin, servers and solutions marketing manager for NEC Computers.

In theory, server virtualisation is about creating multiple servers within a certain piece of hardware to obtain maximum performance. In practice, it can be much more complicated than that and as enterprises in the Middle East move rapidly towards adopting this first step to enterprise-wide IT virtualisation, it is essential that they avoid some common mistakes while deploying and using these virtualised platforms across the servers in their datacenters.

The path to higher productivity

Virtualisation comes with many benefits, including reduced power and electricity costs, but arguably the biggest driver for it is the promised optimal performance of IT infrastructure.

The first step to higher productivity from servers is asking yourself whether you really need virtualisation. Many an enterprise tends to adopt these set of technologies while blindly following the huge hype that is created around them. However, it is essential to understand that virtualisation is not for all enterprises.

"The first thing is, not everything needs to be virtualised. It's not like next year, we need to virtualise every server there is. The competition today talks about virtualisation as a solution for everything because all they sell is virtualisation - for any ill, issue or complexity, virtualisation is the answer, but actually that's not accurate," says Zane Adams, director of server marketing at software vendor Microsoft.

"Virtualisation has become such a buzz word that enterprises just move towards it because it is the next big thing instead of giving thought to or studying how it can be of benefit to them specifically. I do understand that this is a hot topic but enterprises need to take a step back and analyse it in detail before taking a decision," says Chandan Mehta, regional product marketing manager for enterprise products at IT vendor Fujitsu Siemens.

One way to be sure that you need virtualisation is to check on the current utilisation of your hardware.

"The common mistake will be if the move to virtualisation did not include a initial professional assessment phase of current infrastructure and server load that will provide the customer with a view on what the new virtual infrastructure will look like and the challenges if any he needs to overcome," says Antoine Aguado, regional manager of Citrix Middle East.

"Enterprises have to begin with current systems and the resources they are using. They have to check the utilisation of servers and storage. There are good tools for doing this. If there is a high utilisation of servers - or anything above 55% of CPU usage - there might not be a need for virtualisation at all," says Mehta.

3420 days ago
Syed Azzam

I think this article was timely published, as virtualization is becoming the talk of the town. Its really helped me, because I was moving along the hype created , its an eye opener. I do not deny the benefits , its a great technology, but not for all enterprises. Thank you once again for publishing this article. Regards Azzam Sys Engr.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code