Data centres are the lifeblood of many businesses regardless of the nature of the day-to-day operations, so it stands to reason that the efficient running of the most critical element in a business should be a priority, but it’s often overlooked until it’s time to upgrade hardware because the architecture is straining under the demand from its users. In most cases, efficient use and planning of resources will mean less strain and more productivity and potentially delay a costly upgrade for a while longer.
What does Efficiency Mean to a Data Centre Manager?
Consider 48 coresspread over two machines and racks of whirring blade arrays serving up data to ‘x’ amount of employees. CPU power consumption and the energy required cooling system required to keep everything running with stability are the first things that spring to mind for the layperson, but any data centre manager will tell you that redundancy is the greatest problem they face. The amount of unused processing power and storage is a direct result of poor planning and ultimately means large overspends on hardware that may or may not be used.
The probability of redundancy exaggerates when your business uses completely separate systems to accommodate software that has to run on a different operating system to other applications you or your customers rely on. Virtualization software is not a new concept, but it is one area that growing businesses often ignore because they simply didn’t need to centralise processing and data access to one location in the past, but as data centre design is increasingly based on ease of data access and efficient use of resources, the need for virtualization software becomes more apparent.
Follow the Big Players in Virtualization
The fact that virtualization has been around for a long time means there are some established businesses providing virtualization solutions for global operations, but what makes one provider better than any other one? Take a standalone installation of VMware handled in-house and setup by experienced admins as an example.
The software will function properly and your systems will no doubt operate without any major hiccups, but it there are ways to tell if your resources are underused or could function more efficiently with the correct setup. Another administrator in an identical business might use virtualization software from Dell that has performance monitoring built in to the system to highlight areas of redundancy.
Test and Test Again
Even though your administrator’s idea to centralise resources by using virtualization is a good step in the right direction, there are still ways to ensure a data centre running virtualization software can operate at maximum efficiency. Monitoring the distribution of resources and stressing critical areas in test simulations before roll out will not only enable the best initial setup, but also ensure your business continues to use its data centre to its full potential.
System uses often change through their lifetime with new stresses added and others place less demands as software updates and changes. So ensuring your systems are operating at maximum efficiency means you will need to monitor the continued use of resources on an ongoing basis regardless of how well your administrators are able to plan.
Being part of the Dell team, I know we have a great range of virtualization solutions available, which can be found on the Dell site. Visit the site and browse the solutions on offer.