AMD WHITe PAPeR




Putting Server Virtualization to Work


                    enterprises have been using virtualization...
AMD White Paper: Putting Server Virtualization to Work




Streamlining teSting and                       For years, enter...
AMD White Paper: Putting Server Virtualization to Work




  fragmented and distributed data and computing           disru...
AMD White Paper: Putting Server Virtualization to Work




the BenefitS of Virtualization                              hid...
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AMD Putting Server Virtualization to Work

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nterprises have been using virtualization technology on mainframes and RISC-based systems
for years to enable better utilization of hardware resources. As x86 servers have become a mainstay
in the enterprise, more companies are exploring virtualization with these servers to enable more productive, flexible, and scalable datacenters while reducing costs and boosting data availability. Computing technologies from AMD are providing the foundation for today’s—and tomorrow’s—enterprise virtualization solutions.

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AMD Putting Server Virtualization to Work

  1. 1. AMD WHITe PAPeR Putting Server Virtualization to Work enterprises have been using virtualization technology on mainframes and RISC-based systems for years to enable better utilization of hardware resources. As x86 servers have become a mainstay in the enterprise, more companies are exploring virtualization with these servers to enable more productive, flexible, and scalable datacenters while reducing costs and boosting data availability. Computing technologies from AMD are providing the foundation for today’s — and tomorrow’s — enterprise virtualization solutions. In the 21st century, the promise of the Information enter virtualization–a technology that enables Age is being fulfilled. Bits and bytes of data, corporations to make more effective use of the information and knowledge rocket around the globe computing resources within the datacenter in milliseconds. Product cycles have been and move legacy software and data to newer, condensed from years into weeks, and supply more efficient hardware platforms. chains are interwoven into a complex fabric. Paper is giving way to pixels and e-business is rapidly Virtualization partitions a server into several “virtual evolving from an elusive dream into reality. machines,” each able to run its own separate operating system and application environment. This In this post-industrial environment, an enterprise that moves businesses away from a “one server, one has a well-defined data management strategy is application” model in which computing resource use at a tremendous advantage. Such an organization can average less than 25 percent, and toward an can harness the power of information technology infrastructure that lets a business manage its to achieve remarkable results. Conversely, servers across a heterogeneous environment far companies lacking the right server and data more effectively. The ability to run different operating management strategy risk missing out on the systems and applications on the same physical promise and opportunities of the digital age. server lets organizations consolidate the workload placed on servers. If one virtual system fails, another Achieving success is no simple task. As can take over instantly and perform the same tasks. organizations have adopted a mélange of hardware and software systems — with servers scattered Virtualization isn’t a new idea. It is a time-tested across an enterprise — the solution has often concept that IT professionals have used for years to created a new problem. Today’s complex data-server manage mainframes and UNIX computing environments have grown exponentially, leaving environments. Advances in x86 technologies such companies with larger and more rigid datacenters. as AMD64 technology with Direct Connect Not only does it become cost-prohibitive to Architecture have made virtualization ideally suited administer these datacenters, it is difficult to achieve for today’s conventional PC and server-centric optimal value and return on investment (ROI) as well environments. With computing demands increasing as return on assets (ROA). Hard-to-find data, old and every year, and as much as 80 cents of every inaccurate data, aging hardware and software, and IT dollar spent on software and operations sluggish performance can all conspire to drag down maintenance, the need to streamline has service levels and profits. In the end, an organization become paramount. can find its customers, business partners and employees dissatisfied. 1
  2. 2. AMD White Paper: Putting Server Virtualization to Work Streamlining teSting and For years, enterprises have used virtualization However, virtualization can tip the balance back in deVelopment enVironmentS technology on mainframes and RISC systems to favor of the enterprise. In some cases, a 5 to 15 with Virtualization enable better utilization of hardware resources. As percent drop in basic IT operating expenses may For many enterprises, development x86 servers have become a mainstay in the be achieved. A well-planned virtualization strategy and test environments — while a necessary enterprise, increasing numbers of companies are can also reduce the time it takes for IT staff to part of doing business — also present exploring server virtualization to build more manage devices. Some companies report gains of challenges when it comes to cost of productive, flexible, and scalable datacenters while 50 to 70 percent or more. This leaves hardware operation and time to market: reducing costs and boosting data availability. And specialists, programmers, and other professional n Capital and space requirements computing technologies from AMD that enable 64- staff free to handle more strategic work. for multiple physical systems, and 32-bit software to run side by side are providing particularly servers, may be the foundation for today’s — and tomorrow’s — n A more flexible and scalable environment. Many prohibitively high, in today’s budget- enterprise virtualization solutions. organizations find themselves awash in data — conscious environments. flowing from multiple databases, data marts and With the right software and systems in place, a data warehouses, and in addition to the vast array n Length of required setup cycles and lack of sufficient hardware reduces company can manage and automate an array of of unstructured data that floods the typical workflow efficiencies. complex processes. It can create a “utility” computing enterprise today. The number of documents in environment that serves up data on demand. Armed various formats, e-mail messages, photographs, n Actual test and deployment cycles with greater flexibility in its server and storage and video files is growing at a rapid clip. The fast may be longer than necessary due to frequent system reconfigurations. infrastructure, an enterprise can attain the flexibility it pace of business demands a computing requires to compete in today’s global economy. environment that allows fast and easy access to As any bottom-line-minded business this growing mountain of data. Any lag in knows, all of these challenges end up BuSineSS in a Virtual world performance can slam the brakes on a company’s costing money in one way or another. overall performance and light up its bottom line in With virtualization, corporations can Virtualization can provide well-documented benefits overcome these hurdles. red ink. As the organization’s data environment to organizations of all sizes and across a wide continues to grow, so does the need to ensure that The combination of AMD’s Direct Connect spectrum of industries. When an enterprise has the its applications continue to operate at their Architecture and the ability to run 32- and right virtualization solutions in place, it can achieve maximum potential. Virtualization enables legacy 64-bit applications underlie many of the efficient utilization of server resources to more real-world benefits. As a result, successful applications and data to be run on modern effectively test and deploy new application hardware platforms, providing more security and companies are integrating AMD Opteron™ environments. A well-tuned computing engine can processors into their operations. performance benefits. supply an enterprise with the power it needs to ratchet up business goals as well as customer and n Reduced financial risk. Loss of data can prove fatal management expectations. for an organization. Ironically, the greatest losses often aren’t the result of the immediate disaster, but Ultimately, an organization can more effectively utilize of ongoing lapses during the recovery phase. all of its assets across the entire enterprise. Several Organizations first lose critical files or information, key business drivers are spurring the adoption of and loyal customers follow. even brief disruptions virtualization. Among them are: could result in lost opportunities. But with virtualization, companies that previously weren’t n The need to simplify management of complex able to justify the expense of a disaster-recovery hardware devices. Today, multiple hardware solution (for small applications or smaller IT platforms, operating systems, and programming environments) may now do so. When implemented environments lead to a jumble of systems and within the context of virtualization, the ROI for a resources. The proliferation of single application disaster-recovery solution is high. servers — and resulting data silos —can wreak havoc on data accessibility and network n Governance and regulatory concerns. Sarbanes- performance. It is not unusual for an organization Oxley, Basel II, and the Health Insurance Portability to overuse some equipment while other devices and Accountability Act (HIPAA) have all created remain vastly underutilized. The resulting imbalance an environment that forces organizations to and cascading inefficiencies typically lead to take regulatory issues seriously. Strict reporting higher costs, reduced response time, and more rules and tight internal controls translate into complex provisioning. a need for better data management. Security and privacy issues have also emerged at the n A reduction in costs associated with reduced forefront of business. Centralized administration server management and administration. At many and tighter control of resources made possible organizations, network administration is an by virtualization can help an organization avoid expensive and unwieldy task. As the number of problems sometimes associated with highly servers grows, IT staffing and tasks spike as well. 2
  3. 3. AMD White Paper: Putting Server Virtualization to Work fragmented and distributed data and computing disruption to users. Consequently, customers, top 5 BuSineSS BenefitS resources. Virtualization efforts may also contribute employees, and supply chain partners can work of Virtualization to a more secure and controlled datacenter, since in a familiar way. 1. Increase server utilization the IT organization will typically manage fewer servers within this type of environment. In addition, by separating hardware and software 2. Improve service levels management issues, an enterprise can often manage 3. Streamline manageability and security taking Virtualization to a and maintain discreet systems far more effectively. 4. Decrease hardware costs higher leVel A virtual environment also excels at managing 5. Reduce facility costs Virtualization is increasingly attractive to workstations, departmental servers, datacenter organizations looking to maximize the potential of servers and other devices. Virtualization’s ability to server-based applications and computing resources. separate hardware and software management Among their other benefits, virtual servers can help issues and manage discreet virtual systems can reduce dependency on old, out-of-warranty servers escalate network performance to a higher level. that require more power and cooling than today’s In fact, by allocating and reallocating resources on more energy efficient models. In many cases, these the fly, an organization can often gain a level of aging machines, which rely on legacy hardware flexibility unimaginable only a few short years ago. and operating systems, require a disproportionate amount of attention and support. In contrast, laying the foundation with amd virtualization lets IT managers clear away the ‘deadwood’ by consolidating servers running line-of- Along with the many benefits it provides, business applications and help enable an optimized virtualization technology is a memory intensive infrastructure, higher server utilization, and reduced application that places a heavy demand on servers. management. This, in addition to the improved Virtualization software must manage multiple virtual energy efficiency of the newer systems, contributes environments while still delivering application and to lower power, cooling, and datacenter space data services to users in a timely fashion. That’s why usage costs. top server performance within this type of environment is crucial — and it’s being delivered Virtualization also helps organizations extend the life today by the AMD64 computing platform, namely of their own custom-written applications. In the past, AMD Opteron™ processors. companies that had to keep these applications in service faced skyrocketing support and AMD Opteron processors with Direct Connect maintenance costs for the accompanying legacy Architecture provide a solid foundation for the hardware and operating systems. But with evolution to x86-based virtualization. The AMD64 virtualization, there’s no need to rewrite existing computing platform offers companies the ability to custom applications to run on the latest hardware run both 32- and 64-bit virtual machines on the and OSes. Now, companies may simply create a same physical server, without rewriting code, dedicated virtual machine for their legacy enabling them to maximize their IT investments. application, and run it alongside other virtual Direct Connect Architecture also directly connects machines running newer applications — all on the the CPU to the memory, I/O, and other processors. latest power-efficient, multi-core, server hardware. The integrated memory controller provides high- With virtualization, software investments can be speed, low-latency access to memory, and can help protected while taking advantage of newer, cost- host and guest operating systems function more efficient hardware. efficiently. HyperTransport™ technology provides a scalable interconnect between processors, I/O, and Another advantage of virtualization is its ability to other chipsets. This can help support more guest OS streamline and accelerate deployment of software sessions and more user access applications. and systems. An enterprise can deploy a new version of the operating system and continue to run Second-Generation AMD Opteron processors, a legacy application in a virtual machine. Using released by AMD in 2006, further advanced virtual machines to test migration plans, including virtualization, by improving system performance and debugging systems and analyzing performance, security of virtual environments to help boost the makes it easier to isolate and solve problems before return on investment. AMD Virtualization™ technology migrating to new environments. It reduces the cost (AMD-V™), consisting of hardware extensions to the and risk of rewriting, porting or integrating existing x86 system architecture, is designed to help applications with new systems and lets an virtualization software more efficiently run organization deploy new systems with minimal applications in separate, isolated environments and 3
  4. 4. AMD White Paper: Putting Server Virtualization to Work the BenefitS of Virtualization hide the complexity of hardware infrastructure to Building a Virtual SucceSS Story within a deVelopment and teSt help simplify management. AMD-V leverages Direct enVironment include: Connect Architecture to provide fast and efficient Companies that have taken advantage of n Lower capital and space requirements. memory handling, a must-have for memory intensive virtualization have realized a solid ROI. Today, a wide Virtualization enables the consolidation applications like virtualization. range of organizations — including those in data- of multiple test and development intensive industries such as financial services, systems into fewer physical machines. Third-Generation AMD Opteron processors, to be healthcare, aerospace, and retailing — already have These machines may run several released in 2007, will offer enhancements to AMD-V deployed virtualization successfully. Many other different operating systems that will provide a balanced approach to improve companies are following suit. simultaneously, while still maintaining virtualization performance and enable near-native system independence and integrity. performance on virtualized applications. One of In fact, a growing number of businesses are turning n Lower power and cooling costs. By those enhancements, nested paging, will reduce the to virtualization solutions to help them build more consolidating legacy software through overhead of switching between virtual machines. power efficient, highly flexible, and scalable solution virtualization, businesses can switch The use of nested paging by virtualization software platforms. As business decision-makers increasingly out older, less energy-efficient machines will improve the performance of many virtualized look to squeeze out additional gains from the x86 with fewer, more energy-efficient systems. applications. AMD Opteron processors with architecture, they are taking a closer and more n Increased efficiencies through shorter AMD Virtualization are engineered to help datacenter critical look at the servers they purchase. Certainly, test cycles. Corporations can keep managers more easily migrate to virtualization it is no longer feasible to buy a server for every centralized libraries of virtual test applications and plan for future virtualization needs. application an enterprise uses. Managing IT environments and reuse them when resources efficiently is a necessity. Only then is it needed, which may drastically reduce Finally, AMD has forged strong relationships with possible for an enterprise to ensure that it is configuration times. Further, because numerous hardware and software firms that have maximizing revenues, return on assets, customer these environments are essentially a strong interest in x86 virtualization technology, and partner loyalty, and shareholder value. available on demand, server idle time may be reduced. Virtualization can including VMware, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems, SWsoft, Virtual Iron, AMD is at the center of this emerging universe. As also simplify the process of testing distributed server applications, which and XenSource. This helps businesses harness organizations move beyond the flat earth of CPU can be extremely time-consuming the power of virtualization in far more robust ways. cycles and begin to examine I/O and chipset-based and resource-intensive. They can act and react to changing business virtualization, they are discovering that it is possible conditions in a more agile manner by reallocating to boost productivity and slash costs. Whether the n Faster time-to-market. Virtualization empowers developers to increase computing resources quickly and efficiently and focus is on system-wide performance, e-commerce, efficiencies and effectiveness, so pooling these resources on specific servers. The storage, or simply maximizing the use of data, products may ultimately come to combined power and flexibility of AMD Opteron tomorrow’s solutions exist today. AMD Opteron market faster. processors and virtualization will let organizations processors with Direct Connect Architecture are break the restraints of conventional strategy and ushering in a new era of server performance and take server management to a higher level. making architectural level virtualization a reality. It demonstrates that virtualization can provide a giant leap forward in the evolution of computing and information technology. n Advanced Micro Devices www.amd.com One AMD Place P.O. Box 3453 Sunnyvale, CA 94088-3453 4 © 2007 Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. All rights reserved. AMD, the AMD Arrow logo, AMD Opteron, AMD Virtualization, AMD-V, and combinations thereof are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. HyperTransport is a licensed trademark of the HyperTransport Technology Consortium. Other names are for informational purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective owners. 32951B

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