Posts Tagged Green IT

VMware Virtualisation Seminar – 12th November, Global Knowledge, London

Wednesday 12th November, 2008

As founder and CTO of a London based IT consultancy ‘Full Circle Technology Limited (aka The Full Circle – www.thefullcircle.com) I often attend various trade shows and events, however these are often complimentary or supportive of our position as a Microsoft Gold partner.

Virtualisation has always been hot on our agenda, indeed it is in the business plan from when we launched our consulting business in 2003.  It has continued to be a growth technology we have implemented for several clients over the years using Microsoft Virtual Server, and more recently Hyper-V (www.microsoft.com/uk/hyper-v).

I’ve also been an early user of PC based virtualisation since 2001/2, where as CTO of a technology services company I’d insisted that our support & engineering team use virtual machines (VMware workstation at the time) for testing in relation to support & development (the main reason being to minimise the impact of breaking their production machines by ‘playing’ with flakey software! ;-))

Anyway, today I went along with a keen new associate of ours, Will Darbey, to an excellent seminar event hosted by a leading UK training organisation, Global Knowledge (www.globalknowledge.co.uk).
The seminar was exclusively about a technology that could be viewed as just ever so slightly competative to Microsoft in the virtualisation space… VMware (www.vmware.com).

It must be said, that if in the market for VMware training and certfication, then Global Knowledge is well worth a serious look in… (http://www.globalknowledge.co.uk/courses__certifications/vmware_training.aspx).

A most excellent use for the corner of the BSG building (City Road, London)

The agenda for the day was split into two halfs:

AM Session: Business Briefing-Aimed at people who are considering virtualisation for their business and the benefits it can bring to an organisation.

  • 10:00 – 11:30 Management Briefing
    Introduction to VMware
  • Virtualisation the Datacentre Initiative
  • VMware Infrastructure
  • Virtualisation Benefits
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Green IT
  • Government Legislation
  • Virtual Desktop
  • VMware lower total cost of ownership
  • 11:30 – 12:00 Q & A
  • 12:00 – 13:00 Lunch

PM Session: Technical Briefing –The session is for technical people responsible for evaluating VMware ESX Server and VirtualCenter; including IT managers, system architects, and system administrators.

  • 14:00 – 15:30 Technical Briefing:
  • Reliable Foundation
  • The Hypervisor
  • Architecture
  • The Management
  • Create, Convert, Deploy, Patch, Protect, Deliver
  • Guided Consolidation, Upgrade Manager, SRM Shared Services
  • Resource allocation
  • Live Migration
  • High Availability
  • Resource distribution, Power management Integration
  • Hardware and Guest OS support
  • Conversion and Capacity Planning
  • 15:30 – 16:00 Q & A

Speakers:

  • David Day –David comes from a 10 year Cisco and Microsoft background, and currently manages the technical delivery program for VMware Authorised Training Centres. Originally from South Africa, David is now based in the UK, and has been with VMware for four years.
  • John Churchhouse –John leads the VMware Strategic Partners team which covers all OEM and System Integrator/System Outsourcer relationships in the UK and Ireland.  Prior to VMware, John worked for Sun Microsystems where he managed the System Integrator partner sales team.

As usual I made a few scribbles from the day…

“Virtualization will be the highest-impact trend changing infrastructure and operations through 2012, according to Gartner, Inc. Virtualization will transform how IT is managed, what is bought, how it is deployed, how companies plan and how they are charged. As a result, virtualization is creating a new wave of competition among infrastructure vendors that will result in considerable market disruption and consolidation over the next few years.”
– Gartner

 

The day was split into two parts, the morning session with John Churchhouse on the business angle, and the afternoon a technical deep dive and demonstration with David Day.

Morning session: John Churchhouse, Manager Strategic Partners, VMware

VMware by the numbers..

Founded 1998

2007 rev. $1.33B projected $1.8-1.9B

6100 employees (almost doubled since Jan, current hiring freeze)..

50% year on year growth for last 8 years, limited

120,000 customers, 87% deployed in production, 43% standardising on VMware Infrastructure (i.e. VMotion, HA, Backup, etc.)

 

3rd software company to maintain 50% revenue growth after reaching $1B (other two being Microsoft & Oracle)

 

reasons/uses for virtualisation (with VMware of course! ;-)) 

 

Server Consolidation & Containment – eliminate server sprawl by deploying systems into virtual machines…

Infrastructure Provisioning – reduce time to provision new infrastructure to minutes with sophisticated automation capabilities and standardised machine templates.

Business Continuity – reduce cost and complexity of BC by encapsulating entire systems into files that can be replicated and restored to any server

Test and Development– rapid provision and re-provision of test & dev environments; store libraries or pre-configured test machines

Enterprise Desktop / Virtual Desktop Infrastructure– secure unmanaged PCs. Alternatively, provide standardised enterprise desktop environments hosted on secure, reliable, centrally managed servers.

Legacy Application re-hosting – migrate legacy O/S & apps to virtual machines running on faster and newer hardware for better/improved reliability.

 

TCO on server consolidation typically 6 months… ?!? http://www.vmware.com/go/calculator

 

Greenness– Qualcomm – reduced 900+ servers, 11.2 tonnes of CO2 per server saved!

 

ESXi / VMware Virtualisation Layer – 32MB, free download – smaller, tighter, less to go wrong!

Can be specified and shipped pre-installed with servers from HP & Dell..

 

Trigger points for VDI… hmmm I missed that one…

 

2008: the year of automation!

Automation = Business Agility

Automate IT processes (Lifecycle management from machine birth through death/retirement)

Create resource pools

Capacity on-demand

 

Disaster Recovery

DR in the virtual world is orders of magnitude simpler in the virtual world.. e.g. hardware and firmware levels can be different across DR sites as the virtual layer is consistent

Turn manual recovery run books into automated

 

Test & Development

Developer productivity – >75% reduction in server to staff ratio, 10x reduction in system config time, 20% acceleration in system development lifecycle time

 

A UK ‘small’ business example..

BT consolidated 1503 servers, est 375 racks of x86 ay 5 sites replaced with 30 at 3 sites

4509 network ports down to 168!
 

Afternoon session: David Day, Technical Services Director, VMware
David’s session was a fast paced, technical deep dive into various aspects of VMware virtualisation, including some complimentary technologies.  He also ran through some demonstrations including an unplanned, unrehearsed demo (always a brave thing to do) – everything worked like a dream! (its good stuff this VMware ;-).

I’d love to give more detail other than David clearly knows his stuff and then some!, however and unfortuantely I was against the clock getting our EBS 2008 PR submitted – had to be out of the door for a 16:00 release… see https://reubenjcook.wordpress.com/2008/11/12/windows-essential-business-server-2008-launch/

Will & I did, however, have a chance to look somewhat confused with VMware… (before the event of course!! ;-)).

 vmware-will  vmware-reub2

 

 

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Green IT Expo – London 5th November

Wednesday 5th November, 2008

As founder and CTO of a small IT consultancy & Microsoft Gold partner ‘Full Circle Technology Limited – www.thefullcircle.com – I often attend trade shows and events.  On Wednesday I went along to the Green IT Expo (www.greenitexpo.co.uk) at the Barbican Center in London, and made a few scribbles from the day…

“Gartner predicts that Green IT will be the No.1 Strategic Technology for 2008, accelerating and expanding the focus that came to the forefront in 2007.”
Source – Gartner Inc

I had some very interesting conversations with various vendors and attendees on various things Green IT related, and some not so… I also attended some very interesting seminars, these stood out for me:
 
Virtualisation as an IT Optimiser

Hosted by Tikiri Wanduragala, Modular Systems Senior Consultant, IBM

Today’s enterprises are confronted by a rapidly growing stream of disruptive forces, e.g. globalisation, mobile devices, new collaboration models, energy management and emerging economies. At the same time, information technology is rapidly expanding to make many new applications economically viable. However, the cost of managing IT has doubled since 2000, putting the datacentre at risk. As corporations intensify their focus on delivering innovation and globally integrating their business design, pressure to improve datacentre efficiency and agility will continue to grow.

Virtualisation, the de-coupling of resources from the physical environment, offers a solution through greatly improved resource management and will render non-virtualised IT obsolete over the next 3-5 years. Successful organisations will make virtualisation an essential part of their data centre optimisation plans. IBM will outline four specific actions you can take now to help improve efficiency and agility through virtualisation.

x86 systems are the driver, simply because of the numbers involved.

25 new x86 servers coming on-line every minute and they are switched on 24×7!

A play station has 8 cores, more powerful than most x86 servers!
Why? Because we all demand faster, quicker, shorter…

Centralised computing is back in as opposed to the 80’s-90’s distributed dream

Server consolidation is just the start, the desktop will happen, further centralisation.

If you virtualize you have to do the lot! I/O and storage, otherwise you loose the resilience benefits

Start thinking about servers or desktops as a file then the architecture changes accordingly

Virtualization 1.0
test & dev
slower than the real thing

Virtualization 2.0
business continuity – HA / DR
performance improvements – load balancing, resource streamlining, etc

Virtualization will drive architectural advancement – servers no longer being 10% utilised, but 80%+ utilised, however…

Your eggs will be in one basket, so it had better be a good basket!

Think Different! 😉

Virtualization enables consolidation, the more you consolidate the better the returns!

Management needs to be strong – people, process and technology

High Availability is critical!

Virtualization introduces standardization and therefore allows repeatable, scriptable systems management, deployment, etc.

However, if you do it badly it is a rope to hang yourself, and it will be a much swifter end!

Akin to moving from a relationship to a marraige!

 

Why Green IT & Virtualisation Should be Top of the Financial Director’s Agenda
Hosted by Adam Ryan, Strategic Services Director, Ben Stollard, Director of Consultancy Practise, VirtualizeIT

GreenIT and Virtualisation have become the latest IT buzzwords and every product or service is clamouring to establish its green credentials, VirtualizeIT will cut through the hyperbole to illustrate that the green revolution utilising Virtualisation is actually saving organisations hundreds of thousands of pounds whilst also enabling greater corporate environmental responsibility.

VMware’s EMEA consultancy partner of the year 2008

Cost benefits of server virtualization

Finance sector led the way

Ave IT spend 2.3% of turnover unlikely to change (costs per user relatively unchanged) – Gartner

VDI objection – reduction in local processing power is least popular…

Perception of utlisation is much higher than the reality!

No other company asset would be tolerated that is only used 3% of the time!

Industry ave for server utilisation is less than 9%

AIB had 450+ servers and haven’t bought a new server in 18months, now 43 servers but could be halfed although now fully FT DR capability with c.20 servers split across 2 DC’s

49 x DL380 c. 465w to 6 x IBM virtualized env. Saving £39K PA

The change has to be seamless – changing the engines of an airliner in flight analogy

Use your D/R estate also for test & dev to ensure utilisation numbers

Making a compelling investment case

Consultancy costs to virtualized…
S/W isn’t the main cost!

MS reckon on 10m virtual servers in the market within 18 months

Desktop revenue is falling! The move back to centralised computing is underway

VDI provides great opportunity for security enhancements

Difficult to justify on a basic utility an hardware cost is difficult, the management costs is where it’s at.

Although economies of scale factors – larger the estate, greater the returns

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