IDC - Infrastructure Consolidation


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This is a presentation I have given for IDC with regards to the Marfin Laiki experiences on Infrastructure Consolidation (Virtualization etc)

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  • Thank you for inviting me to speak with you today. My name Is Andreas Papageorgiou and I am leading the Infrastructure department of the bank with primary responsibility the Data Center. A DC that must be available 24x7 to support services to other countries and DC agile enough to respond to the emerging needs.
  • In this very short session , I will share with you the Marfin Laiki consolidation roadmap which started 3 years ago. An activity that has become a necessity due to the prevalent and prudent practice of dedicating servers to individual workloads, average utilization of x86 and RISC server capacity in most IT infrastructures is typically below 10%. Meanwhile, the costs of powering, cooling, managing , and supporting those servers and their attendant software continues to rise. Companies (including Marfin) found that the duplication of servers, applications, and databases not only was expensive to maintain but also kept us from utilizing our resources and information to the maximum extent. The response has been a trend toward recentralization and consolidation of IT resources in the datacenter. Achieving the benefits of server consolidation, does not necessarily require a large-scale effort that is both extensive and expensive in terms of a lengthy planning cycle and up-front investment. Many organizations consolidate as part of the natural refresh cycle of their technology infrastructures. These efforts are more iterative processes, rather than one-time projects, that focus on reducing the number of datacenters as the technology infrastructure is updated and augmented. The results are still significant. By consolidating, organizations are able to boost efficiency and improve their service capabilities while maintaining an infrastructure that is both robust,highly available, and adaptive to changing business requirements. Most organizations pursue different levels of consolidation at different times, depending on their particular requirements . Consolidation also tends to occur over time , as an iterative process, moving through the different types of consolidation.
  • As the price/performance and functionality of small and midrange systems improved dramatically, many organizations moved toward a model of deploying distributed servers to support departmental processes. While such systems allowed organizations relatively cheap and easy access to powerful departmental applications,they eventually led to a quagmire of systems that were incompatible, unable to share information, and difficult or impossible to manage consistently. Organizations also faced the challenge of meeting increased levels of availability and security. At the same time, many companies looked to standardize their environments on a consolidated set of products from a more limited number of vendors in order to realize not only cost savings but also procurement, service, and management efficiencies. ACHIEVING HIGHER LEVELS OF SERVICE: Providing high levels of service is on every IT manager's mind as the user base expands beyond internal users to customers, suppliers, students, patients, other government agencies, and business partners. Everyone expects high levels of application and information availability and consistent response times. Consolidation provides a consistent management framework, which can lead to a more predictable and consistent level of service. EFFICIENCY AND CONTROL: The key to gaining efficiency is in better utilizing the available IT resources. Consolidating the server environment can lead to a more disciplined approach to management. As much as 55% of IT costs are associated with personnel, and, in a consolidated environment, the productivity of administrative personnel increases greatly. Some organizations may realize the benefit in reduced operational costs. IDC studies have shown a 7:1 cost savings in people management resources when processes and resources are consolidated. Others will benefit from the ability to focus highly skilled resources on higher-value tasks. Tighter management control will also enhance availability, security, and the ability to audit the consumption of services and charge back appropriately. For IT managers who consistently cite floor space and power consumption as key issues, the benefits of consolidation are obvious. Many organizations are looking to reduce not only the number of servers but the number of datacenters. Because the cost of network bandwidth has dropped dramatically, companies no longer need to deploy servers as close as possible to the users they support. Therefore, many organizations can implement smaller, regional datacenters, instead of a datacenter at each location. As server architectures grow increasingly modular, with the deployment of ultra-dense solutions such as server blades, the costs associated with power, space, cooling, and cabling will continue to drop. GREATER ORGANIZATIONAL FLEXIBILITY : The greatest strategic value that companies gain from consolidation is an improved ability to efficiently adapt the infrastructure to incorporate new technologies and respond to new business requirements.
  • As we will see later, consolidation can occur at several areas such as.. Several Technological advancements have been made enabling consolidation possibilities: Faster and cheaper networks (Metro Ethernet) Fast evolution for hardware – SAN New emerging technologies got mature - Virtualization
  • Having set the issues and challenges facing, Marfin has created an action plan starting with the easiest to implement first. There are many ways to address the consolidation activity. One way is to get consultancy from the leaders (IBM, HP etc) and approach the project in a more structured way in its entirety. This approach has a higher probability to be successful but has significant upfront costs which u will realize well after the end of the project. A 2 nd approach (and the one we followed) is to identify the several areas of consolidation and consider them as separate initiatives in a less formalized manner at different times, depending on their particular requirements. Consolidation also tends to occur over time, as an iterative process, moving through the different types of consolidation. For instance there are cases where u need to make strategic directions and have the time to align to them e.g. stay with 2 RDBMS platforms.
  • We consider asset management as one of the initial steps before starting any consolidation project. If u don’t know what u have and how it performs, u cannot manage it. Discover what u have – whether its s/w or h/w Tools – IBM Tivoli, HP Openview and Microsoft System Center
  • Physical consolidation is considered the less complex part of consolidation activity. Physical consolidation involves consolidating components of the IT environment in one physical location. This co-location leads to greater efficiency by eliminating the replication of skill sets across different locations. When systems are in a central location, networking becomes much easier and more efficient, power costs are reduced, backup can be performed more efficiently, and security can be increased. There are also subsequent savings in floor space costs. Consolidating locations also provides opportunity for configuring systems for higher availability.
  • Physical consolidation can occur also within the Data Center. This is now achieved with the Blade technology. A technology that we believe cannot be missing from today’s IT infrastructures. This is the scale out approach.
  • For applications that can utilize the scale up approach e.g. Databases, Virtualization. Scale out is still needed e.g. Web tier.
  • Moving away from the physical consolidation we started considering application consolidation. As mentioned previously for this to make sense, it is important to standardize on technologies to allow for easier application consolidation. E.g. IIS and .Net platform, RDBMS Basically same application types can be served by the same physical server/partition. If we take some real time examples at Marfin, we have built a centralized high available solution based on Microsoft Load Balancing or Clustering solution for hosting Web Applications e.g. Online Applications using .Net, Performance Management, Service Desk, AML, Web Services
  • Marfin Laiki uses the Lotus Domino platform for its messaging and collaboration platform. One of the strengths of Domino is content replication and thus the support of a distributed environment. This ended up with more than 15 servers dispersed throughout Cyprus (and even a considerable amount overseas).
  • Had to increase some of the WAN links (in particular the District ones). A TCO analysis was also performed to prove the savings.
  • More than 10 physical servers (some not located at DC).
  • Scale up solution, 64bit support
  • Another area we focused on was storage consolidation. In the past each application area had its own space, which was mostly attached and connected to the specific system. This worked fine when capacity needs were low and predictable. However over time, we found that DAS had serious limitations. For instance… With DAS we may end up with different vendors.
  • In the new design, all servers are being served by a storage area network which is centralized and highly available. Requirements for high performance and high availability (redundant controllers, cache, Raid10) NAS (Ip Iscsi) vs SAN (FC)
  • With the new centralized solution (SAN and/or NAS) we are able to: High capacity utilization: Capacity can be allocated to specific servers on an as-needed basis, drawing from a pool of storage. Storage consolidation can achieve above 80% utilization compared to DAS with 20-30%. So needed headroom is reduced. Increased Management : through a single interface admins are able to manage the entire pool, get alerts, thus fewer admins are expected to manage the infrastructure. Meet Quality of service requirements : High availability, performance and capacity are designed into the these new architectures to ensure that application server requirements are met.
  • Put all your eggs in one basket – if that storage subsystem would fail, access to that information would be lost. This is an obvious and valid concern and one that must be addressed. Need to understand application I/O better now - Block level access vs File level access SAN storage is more expensive per GB than DAS. So careful planning is needed and disks architected properly (SATA, FC, small, large etc) Maintenance / system upgrades are usually done with no downtimes.
  • Finally we move to the Virtualization area which is considered one of the hottest topics and part of most IT manager’s agenda (at least in the x86 market). One way of looking at virtualization is to visualize taking something large, carving it up and making it look like many small things. E.g. VLANS in networks, Storage, cpus/memory
  • Most mentions of virtualization in today's market dwell on the x86 world as if this were the first use of virtualization. Also, most concern themselves mainly with partitioning virtualization (the use of a hypervisor). The mainframe world has had shared OS virtualization systems as early as the late 1960s. Although partitioning virtualization has long been a standard in the mainframe environment, it is now growing in use on the rest of the non-x86 server platforms. Partitioning virtualization offers the easiest-to-implement and best isolation capabilities when compared with shared OS virtualization. Shared OS virtualization consolidation is more difficult to implement (except when stacking common code stacks) and provides less separation than partitioning. It also faces extra ISV support issues. However, it has the potential to offer more staff savings than partitioning virtualization and more instrumentation for providing straightforward chargeback. This is important because chargeback is an important consideration in a consolidated environment. The capabilities of partitioning virtualization products vary across the major vendor server platforms and are improving rapidly. The major partitioning virtualization products in the non-x86 environments come from the server hardware vendors, not third-party vendors, as is the case in the x86 environment.
  • IBM’s unique partitioning capabilities enable you to carve a large server into many small virtual servers, better utilizing resources and reducing cost. We’ve taken the technology that was born on the mainframe and are now exploiting it in our mid-range servers. For instance, in a POWER5 System p, a slice as small as 1/10 th of a processor may be allocated to a virtual system. Virtual LANs and Virtual I/O further break the constraints of physical resources. Network and I/O connections are no longer limited to the number of physical connections or adaptors. This allows you to add connections much more dynamically. Performance can also be improved by using “networks in a box”. When applications communicate between partitions, the network calls remain in the server reducing network latency. And clustering adds many options for high availability. The net result is substantially higher utilization rates (because mixing workloads allows you to take advantage of the peaks/valleys of different applications), substantially improved performance (because networks are virtualized and communication is at memory speeds), significant reduction in infrastructure complexity, and a large reduction in administrative overhead (fewer things to manage, fewer consoles and tools).
  • Each application instance can host a different o/s utilizing the same underlying physical resources. Thus: Reducing costs (space, utilities, support teams). Facilitates IT governance (easier to implement, verify, enforce policies). Improving availability (aligned business process with IT infrastructure, homogenized the IT landscape). Substantially increased server utilization. Hiding differences in hardware using DC virtualization providing future opportunities for cost savings. Improved business flexibility, reduced time to market (quicker provisioning, faster implementation using predefined templates as IT building blocks).
  • One of the initial virtualization activities undertaken at Marfin 2 years ago is with regards to the Unix environment. This is based on a series of physical IBM AIX machines (more than 20). Most of the systems are not even clustered properly and some have standby h/w support.
  • Taking into account just the hardware maintenance in the TCO analysis for those 20 servers, we could break even with a consolidated environment in under 2.5 yrs. Of course consolidation offered many other advantages in the picture as we will see very shortly.
  • Today’s set-up involves 2 IBM p-series models (p-590) than can support up-to 64 cpus and 512GB of ram. This technology supports the virtualization partitioning where each physical server is now represented as an LPAR. With this design we are able to assign portions of the physical machine resources. This LPAR technology also provides isolation between them. For instance each LPAR could have its own network adapters, internal disks. With such models, we could have Capacity on demand feature. We can enable and use extra Cpus when needed. With such models, we are able to dynamically allocate resources if and when needed (can be scheduled as well). This is achieved with Partition Load Manager. All production systems are now clustered using IBM HACMP in an active/standby model. Check out the cpu allocation for the standby LPARs. 0.2%. Using micro-partitioning, we are able to provide portions of a cpu to an LPAR.
  • As mentioned previously Virtualization partitioning is now possible in the x86 market. There are several vendors in the market but only a few can offer the advanced capabilities found in the high end solutions offered by the proprietary vendors. VMware is the current leader in this area with the highest market share since has been amongst the 1 st to offer this functionality. There one company that offers Shared o/s virtualization – Virtuozzo but as mentioned this is still very pre-mature.
  • Marfin has invested on the VMWare solution. Using the Physical to Virtual mogration utility it is considered quite easy to migrate existing physical machines to virtual. That is u don’t have to rebuild the s/w unless it is absolutely necessary. Once we gained the experiences of the new platform/tools with testing environments and did not face any issues with the applications we started considering production environments Our experienced has shown that the scal-up approach with VMware is much more effective. Even with the current consolidation the CPU utilization is around 20% (on all 5 servers).
  • As mentioned earlier, start with the development environments. After all development environments should be the exact copy of production. This will give u a good idea of how they applications behave when virtualized. Infrastructure: DCs, Proxies, Management servers.
  • The consolidation plan must be comprehensive and cover everything from the assessment of the current environment to the implementation and management of the consolidated environment to contingency planning. Assessing the current environment may sound easy, but quantifying and documenting all elements in an environment that has grown out of control may not be trivial. Getting this part right is essential to a successful plan. CONCLUSION Rapid improvements in server performance and density, management software, and network bandwidth have made server consolidation a viable consideration for most IT environments. Faced with an ever-increasing demand to provide services, organizations can pursue consolidation as a way of gaining greater control over their IT resources, leading to efficiency gains and a more consistent level of service. Consolidation has become less of a one-time undertaking and more a part of the iterative process of updating the IT infrastructure to incorporate new technology and provide new types of service. As part of their regular technology refresh cycle, organizations should look for consolidation opportunities. There are current benefits to be gained from greater efficiency and longer-term benefits from having a technology foundation that is both flexible and easy to adapt.
  • IDC - Infrastructure Consolidation

    1. 1. Marfin Popular Bank Consolidation Roadmap Andreas Papageorgiou Head Technology Infrastructure, Marfin Laiki Bank
    2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Consolidation Phased approach </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Technologies used </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul>
    3. 3. What if you could . . . <ul><li>Business Value </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Price/performance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lands of information - integration/sharing/standardization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SLA and Security </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No single point of failure for all applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resources to cover unexpected results </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Performance and Workload Balance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Implementation of a DR plan </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Making the best use of resources through virtualization Servers Storage Reduce hardware acquisition and management costs Reduce the complexity and cost of managing SAN-based storage Reduce the deployment, administrative and security challenges and costs of stand-alone desktop environments Run mixed application types and workload patterns to optimize resource utilization and management while enhancing quality of service Application Workstations
    5. 5. <ul><li>Asset Management </li></ul><ul><li>Physical consolidation </li></ul><ul><li>Application consolidation </li></ul><ul><li>Storage Consolidation </li></ul><ul><li>Virtualization </li></ul>Marfin Consolidation approach
    6. 6. <ul><li>A prerequisite to any consolidation project </li></ul><ul><li>Discover what u have </li></ul><ul><li>Establish the correlation between them </li></ul><ul><li>Tools are essential </li></ul><ul><li>Some useful information collected: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Software installed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Utilization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>O/s versions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Onwers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bandwidth requirements </li></ul></ul>Asset Management
    7. 7. <ul><li>Reduce # of server locations </li></ul><ul><li>Only way to achieve server rationalization </li></ul><ul><li>Increased security / availability </li></ul><ul><li>Floor and Power/cooling savings </li></ul><ul><li>Simplified backup </li></ul><ul><li>Branchless office – WAN/latency issue </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges (increased lines, Blades, new technologies - Citrix) </li></ul>Physical consolidation
    8. 8. Physical consolidation <ul><li>Blade Technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Fit 14-16 servers in a box of 7U </li></ul><ul><li>Redundancy is build in. </li></ul><ul><li>Significant power and space savings </li></ul>
    9. 9. <ul><li>Scale up approach (bigger boxes) </li></ul><ul><li>Performance and reliability </li></ul><ul><li>Mission critical systems </li></ul>Physical consolidation eServer p590
    10. 10. <ul><li>Web Applications – e.g. IIS </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration – e.g. Domino </li></ul><ul><li>Databases – e.g. MS SQL </li></ul>Application consolidation
    11. 11. Application consolidation - Domino
    12. 12. Application consolidation - Domino <ul><li>Reduced to 5 servers </li></ul><ul><li>All clustered </li></ul><ul><li>Storage is now centralized on SAN </li></ul><ul><li>Improved resource usage </li></ul>
    13. 13. Application consolidation - SQL
    14. 14. Application consolidation - SQL
    15. 15. Storage consolidation
    16. 16. Storage consolidation
    17. 17. Storage consolidation - Benefits <ul><li>High capacity utilization </li></ul><ul><li>Increased Management efficiency </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Single interface </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Less people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduced floor space </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Meet quality of service requirements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Availability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintenance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Performance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Storage on demand </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Improved DR capabilities </li></ul>
    18. 18. <ul><li>Put all ‘your eggs in one basket’ </li></ul><ul><li>Uncontrolled increase of storage </li></ul><ul><li>Performance management </li></ul><ul><li>Cost per GB </li></ul><ul><li>System maintenance </li></ul>Storage consolidation - Concerns
    19. 19. What is virtualization? Create many virtual resources within a single physical device Reach beyond the box — see and manage many virtual resources as one Dynamically change and adjust across the infrastructure A logical representation of resources not constrained by physical limitations
    20. 20. <ul><li>With the right tools, virtualized resources can be easier to create, adjust, move, clone and checkpoint </li></ul><ul><li>Server farms on which Virtual environments coexist </li></ul><ul><li>Partitioning virtualization </li></ul><ul><li>Shared OS virtualization </li></ul><ul><li>and workload management </li></ul><ul><li>Platform and vendor specific features </li></ul><ul><li>Marfin solution (VmWare, IBM 3950, p-series) </li></ul><ul><li>Experiences </li></ul>Consolidation through Virtualization
    21. 21. How can I better utilize the servers I have? <ul><li>Optimize resources within a single server </li></ul><ul><li>Hypervisor technology offers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>High resource utilization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flexibility and responsiveness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Workload quality of service </li></ul></ul><ul><li>State of the art virtualization with hypervisors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>IBM System z and IBM z/VM ® technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gold standard for virtualization </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>IBM System p and IBM System i hardware </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unique capabilities including micro-partitioning, and dynamic partitions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Network virtualization, virtual input and output, multiple operating systems in a single server </li></ul></ul></ul>CPU resources Memory resources I/O resources Hypervisor . . . Server resources Virtual CPU Virtual memory Virtual networks Partition 1 Partition N Vir tual I/O server (IBM POWER5™)
    22. 22. <ul><li>Partitioning Virtualization </li></ul>Consolidation through Virtualization
    23. 23. Virtualization – AIX consolidation
    24. 24. Virtualization – AIX consolidation
    25. 25. Virtualization – AIX Consolidation
    26. 26. Server Consolidation – x86 platform <ul><li>Server Consolidation for Intel and AMD platform </li></ul>
    27. 27. Virtualization @Laiki <ul><li>Use of VMWare </li></ul><ul><li>Most testing environments are Virtual (70 out of 80) </li></ul><ul><li>Started to move production systems (30 out of 170) </li></ul><ul><li>Above hosted on 5 Blade servers </li></ul><ul><li>Use of scaleable h/w e.g. 2 IBM 3950 </li></ul><ul><li>Next steps (Desktop and Tape virtualization, Workload management) </li></ul>
    28. 28. <ul><li>Start with testing environments </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on Infrastructure servers and then application </li></ul><ul><li>Migrate low utilized servers early </li></ul><ul><li>Consider partitioning first </li></ul><ul><li>Robust Backup solution </li></ul>Virtualization - Experiences
    29. 29. <ul><li>Storage </li></ul><ul><li>Training needs </li></ul><ul><li>Vendor Support </li></ul><ul><li>Licensing </li></ul><ul><li>Rapid growth of virtualized resources across multiple environments </li></ul><ul><li>Relationship of virtualized resources to underlying physical infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Health monitoring and problem determination across a physical and virtualized infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>DR plan </li></ul><ul><li>Patch Management </li></ul>Virtualization - Experiences
    30. 30. Conclusion <ul><li>Good asset management is a prerequisite to any consolidation strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Invest in the new required skills that are imposed by consolidation </li></ul><ul><li>Initially address Consolidation as a project with a plan and management commitment </li></ul><ul><li>Consolidation must be an iterative process and part of day to day decision making </li></ul><ul><li>Address any political matters well before implementation </li></ul><ul><li>The most benefits will be achieved with application consolidation </li></ul><ul><li>Go with the leaders </li></ul>
    31. 31. Thank you