Realizing Data Center Efficiency with Virtualization and Dynamic Infrastructure - Page 3
What isn't growing is the number of administrators in data centers to manage such phenomenal growth. In the same report, IDC reports that the ratio of administrators to servers for traditional data centers is 1:25 and increases to 1:35 in a virtualized environment. The increase in servers requiring administration without an equal increase in the number of administrators necessarily requires more focus on day-to-day operations and mundane tasks which reduces the efficiency of IT staff.
Dynamic infrastructure, with its integration and automation capabilities, addresses these inefficiencies by providing the means through which tedious and mundane operational tasks can be automated in a virtualized environment, thus increasing the efficiency of IT staff as well as the overall efficiency of data center operations. Automating scheduled maintenance windows is a good example. Doing so can alleviate the need for staff to be on site during weekends to manually reconfigure load-balancers and infrastructure systems. Instrumenting application components to notify a centralized orchestration system can remove the manual processes associated with provisioning and de-provisioning of instances. Automation and the systems that drive it can be called upon 24/7, whereas manual processes require the presence of IT staff and thus are more difficult - and expensive - to schedule.
But it is not just efficiencies of staff that can be gained by combining dynamic infrastructure with virtualization. The ability of a dynamic infrastructure to offload application and network-specific tasks from virtual machines can provide a substantial increase in the efficiency of each virtual machine, making consolidation efforts more fruitful while simultaneously improving the performance of applications hosted in virtual environments. By offloading compute intensive tasks like SSL computations, compression, and TCP session management to a dynamic infrastructure solution, applications running in virtual machines are freed to focus on serving applications and executing application-specific logic. This improves performance and scalability of virtual machines by allowing each virtual machine to service more users, more often without degradation.
For example, Transplace, a leading third-party logistics provider recently re-architected their data center with the goal of leveraging virtualization extensively. Using a combination of virtualization and dynamic infrastructure they were able to not only increase the performance of their revenue-generating applications but decreased their data center footprint by employing the server-offload capabilities of the network infrastructure. Combined with a 95 percent virtualized architecture, the company has made more efficient use of its physical hardware while improving the overall user experience, resulting in a reduction in operating costs.
Efficiencies can also be gained through the agile nature of a dynamic infrastructure. Whether security or application related, there are often "fixes" or "patches" that need to be applied to all servers in an environment. As the number of servers increases in a virtual environment, this becomes both an efficient staff process and further increases the potential for the introduction of errors. By leveraging the programmatic features of a dynamic application delivery platform the process of applying such "fixes" becomes simpler and much more efficient. The modification can be made in one place - the dynamic application delivery platform - and applied to all instances of an application at one time.