Virtualization A Step Towards Greener It


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This document is to know how virtualization can help our environment go green and how we can save on our costs.

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Virtualization A Step Towards Greener It

  1. 1. Virtualization: A step towards Greener IT Contents 1) Introduction 2 a) What is Virtualization? b) The Green Footprints of Virtualization 2) Need for Virtualization and its Advantages 4 a) Why Virtualization? b) Advantages 3) Challenges and Limitations 7 4) Return on Investment (ROI) 8 5) Conclusion 9 6) Annexure 10 I) Acronyms II) List of Figures III) References 1
  2. 2. A server instance is no more a piece of HW consisting of CPU, RAM and DISK but just a flat file! This is the POWER of virtualization. INTRODUCTION After many years of being viewed by many as a concern, environmental issues are now front page news all over the world. Faced with increasingly urgent warnings about the consequences of the projected rise in both energy demands and greenhouse gas emissions, governments and businesses both are now focusing more interest than ever on the need to improve energy efficiency. With energy costs rising and information technology (IT) equipment stressing the power and cooling infrastructure, many of us can see alarming economic and operational crisis. Also disposal and recycling of computer waste( generally called E- waste) has become a serious problem since the methods of disposal are very old and pose grave environmental and health hazards. Companies today are being challenged to rethink their strategies, adding energy efficiency to a list of critical operating parameters that already includes serviceability, reliability and performance. What is Virtualization?? Virtualization is the creation of a virtual (rather than actual) version of something, such as an operating system, a server, a storage device or network resources where the framework divides the resource into one or more execution environments. Fig1: Concept of Virtualization 2
  3. 3. Imagine that a computer is an apple. In the old days, people would carry one apple in their hand, until someone invented the basket. A bunch of apples could be put into one basket. Those apples in the basket are still individual apples, but they are being carried in one container. This is the essence of virtualization. The Green Footprints of Virtualization: Green IT refers to an attempt to reduce the impact of IT operations on the environment. Green IT starts with manufacturers producing environmentally friendly products and encouraging IT departments to consider more friendly options like virtualization, power management and proper recycling habits. Green IT projects may have other benefits also however they are generally geared towards showing considerable enhancement in energy efficiency. Fig2: Footprints of Virtualization Virtualization can be a wonderful ally in our efforts to implement Green IT. Servers use energy and give off heat irrespective whether 100 % or 15% utilized. Virtualization is a technology designed to enable multiple application work-loads each having an independent computing environment to run on a single machine. This eliminates the approach of dedicating a single workload to a single server a practice that yields low utilization rates and allows virtualized servers to function near maximum capacity. With virtualization, you can consolidate the workloads currently running on a multiple underutilized servers onto fewer, more efficient servers and begin to realize possible savings and efficiencies that have been difficult to achieve previously. 3
  4. 4. Need and Advantages of Virtualization . Why Virtualization?? The major reasons why organizations are looking towards virtualization are as follows Cost of Space, power and cooling is increasing day by day Underutilization of HW capacity of servers Administration overhead of large numbers of discrete HW boxes Long cycles of Server provisioning High cost of building HA for each and every server Long cycles of server restoration processes ADVANTAGES Operational Benefits • Increased Utilization of servers: It is achieved by having less numbers of servers and better manageability. • Save on admin time and energy: Virtual Machines are easy to maintain and support. • Give “legacy” applications a new life: The new HW does not support legacy OS (like NT). Using virtualization, one can move old operating systems and applications to the new HW keeping all the configurations intact. • Reduction of dependency H&E : In the case of large numbers of discrete servers, one would need enough H&E resources in the case of physical intervention. If all of these servers are virtualized the need of H&E drops substantially. Virtualization is best suited in the remote infrastructure management model. !!! 4
  5. 5. • Great Scalability: Hardware up-gradation on virtual server is just a click away e.g. CPU, RAM and Disk expansion, • Centralized command and control of Server and Applications: We can have a centralized control of all the virtual servers from a management console. • Data Mobility Eases Recovery: Virtualization also enables data mobility. The virtual machine is simply a file that can be replicated from one data center to another, making it easy to a/ migrate applications. b/ Server and data restoration c/ building DRP and HA • Fast Provisioning: The creation of VM by a click will help in more flexible development and testing environments, which is one of the biggest operational benefits. Business Benefits • Save on hardware: With virtualization, we’re able to reduce computers by a 8:1 ratio which is a 75% reduction in physical machines. • Save on space: Many Virtualized servers can be placed on one Physical Hardware thereby saving valuable space. • Increase uptime: The server can be brought up in case of disaster or hardware failure with minimal downtime or even no downtime saving any business losses from being down. • Save on Energy costs: As there will be lesser physical servers, power consumption will be much lower and thereby saving costs on power. • Leveraging staff resources: Use of management software helps increase the proportion of staff time used for productive work and thus increasing business value. 5
  6. 6. Environmental Benefits • Reduced Power Consumption: 50% to 75% reduction in electricity requirements. •Lesser Consumption of Metals: Due to less manufacturing of physical servers, 75% reduction in metals such as aluminum, steel, gold, copper and tantalum. • Reduction in Toxic Materials: 75% reduction in plastics, including toxic plastics like PVC which are used during manufacturing process. • Declined use of harmful chemicals: 75% reduction in hazardous or carcinogenic chemicals used in the manufacturing process • Cut Down in heat and harmful gases: Due to reduction in air-conditioner requirements there was also lesser emission of - • Decrease in E-Waste: 75% reduction in the volume of materials going into garbage dumps or recycling programs. CHALLENGES . Virtualization software and the associated systems management tools that enable an advanced virtualization deployment certainly face challenges such as the following:  Support: Not all OS and application vendors are fully supporting virtualization. virtualization approach/platform). The mitigation is that one should thoroughly test all the applications before moving to virtualization.  Cultural Resistance: Application owners are still living in the old quot;one application, one boxquot; regime.  Understanding of Cost Benefit Relationship: People are not yet able to understand that how this is going to save costs and by what percentage. 6
  7. 7.  Inadequate skills/Training Issues: Still companies are facing issues in finding people with right skills and training costs are too high to train employees. LIMITATIONS Virtualization technology opens the data center to new possibilities that may provide cost savings and new types of functionality, but virtualization does have its own limits. Some of them are as below.  Server virtualization only pools resources within one physical server; it cannot currently pool resources between many physical servers.  Some applications which are highly performance-sensitive, such as databases, data warehousing applications or some with high disk I/O are not suited for virtual environments.  Virtualization technology does not support graphics-intensive applications very well at this time. Return on Investment Most IT managers are eager towards virtualization but they’re still wrestling with cost of ownership and ROI issues. With all virtualization solutions, there will be an upfront cost. With some solutions, especially those that require high end iSCSI or Fibre Channel SAN storage, the upfront cost can be substantial. Thus, obtaining the best return on your virtualization is important for validating the purchase. While the initial cost of virtualization is generally higher than conventional IT products and services, the efficiencies that come with it pay for themselves in the long run. With virtualization, following cost reduction can be achieved. Hardware cost reductions: 30-75 percent Operations cost reductions: 70-80 percent Overall cost reductions: 30-60 percent 7
  8. 8. Fig3: Comparing Total Annual Costs Source: IDC’s Business Value of Virtualization Research, 2008 The above figure compares the annual cost of operations for a server configuration that is deployed in an un-virtualized mode with the annual cost of operations for basic virtualization (without features like HA and DRS) and advanced virtualization scenarios. In a recent ROI survey, nearly 300 CIOs who responded to the survey shared about their experience about the ROI. As we can see in the pie chart, around 85 % are pretty satisfied with the ROI. 8
  9. 9. Not sure 8% Not at all satisfied 2% Not very satisfied Very satisfied 6% 37% Satisfied 47% Fig4: ROI Survey SOURCE: CIO Research With benefits of this magnitude, it is little wonder that server virtualization technologies are expected to be widely adopted over the next few years. Conclusion Virtualization delivers great business value today, increasing by improving availability of servers, enabling application scalability, and reducing costs across the board. As governments and corporations intensify their focus on reducing energy demands and greenhouse gas emissions, pressure to improve data center energy efficiency will continue to grow. Organizations today should move to adopt such a next-generation solution. These technologies can lower costs directly through an immediate reduction of power and cooling costs and subsequently deliver a long-term benefit through lower administrative costs that continue to benefit IT organizations and their parent companies year after year. 9
  10. 10. Acronyms VM: Virtual Machine ISV: Independent Software Vendor ROI: Return on Investment TCO: Total Cost of Ownership P2V: Physical to Virtual List of Figures Fig1: Concept of Virtualization Fig2: Footprints of Virtualization Fig3: Comparing Total Annual Costs Fig4: ROI Survey References: 1) Virtualization Improves Business Continuity- A study by Data Synapse 2) Optimizing IT- A study by IBM 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) Author Neelabh Srivastava Sr. Systems Engineer BE (Electronics) & MBA (Operation) MCSA, MCSE, CCNA 10