Datacenter consolidation is an important strategy for organizations today. The main driver is to reduce cost. As an example, the US Federal Datacenter Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI) expects to reduce the number of datacenters from about 3,000 to about 1,800 by 2015 – a reduction rate of 40% – and anticipates savings in the range of US$5 billion.

Advances in virtualization technology make this possible, as virtualization significantly increases the utilization of computing assets. It allows IT to deploy less hardware and cut the cost of datacenter space and power. However, virtualization comes with its own challenges. “Virtual machine sprawl”, or the continual proliferation of virtual machines, is one of them, as it is so easy to create new virtual servers.

There are several approaches an organization can take in regard to datacenter consolidation:

  • Virtualize: Adopt server virtualization and converged infrastructure technologies
  • Adopt public cloud services: Use public cloud services such as PaaS (platform as a service), ITaaS (IT as a service) or DRaaS (disaster recovery as a service).
  • Implement a private cloud service: Create an internal, private cloud that can deliver faster time to service and greater flexibility to users.
  • Implement a hybrid model: Opt for a combination of internal and external services, which is most common.

Challenges

The biggest challenge in datacenter consolidation is usually an operational management issue and balancing the need for a diverse set of capabilities without resulting in increased management complexity. For example, to support the broad range of applications within a datacenter almost always requires a mix of both virtual and physical servers. How can IT easily manage both physical and virtual platforms as one, while ensuring availability and high service levels?

From a physical perspective, as more powerful hardware platforms are added to replace older servers, will the number of connections required for networking and storage result in “component and cable sprawl”?

Solution

Egenera Cloud Suite software, which includes PAN Manager, PAN Domain Manager and PAN Cloud Director, is an ideal tool for datacenter consolidation. PAN Manager lets you build a highly resilient and flexible computing infrastructure with its unique virtualization capabilities, powerful management software and policy-based automation. If your datacenter consolidation strategy includes setting up cloud services, PAN Cloud Director (PCD) makes it simple to design, request, provision, protect and manage IT as a service.

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