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Xsigo Offers Tips and Webcast to Reduce Server Deployment Costs
With hundreds of thousands of data center server consolidation projects currently underway world-wide and IT budgets under pressure, companies must quickly identify areas where costs can be reduced without impacting project goals. Xsigo Systems, the technology leader in I/O virtualization, today offered seven cost-cutting tips and announced a live webcast to help users identify cost waste associated with server connectivity in the data center.

A live webcast entitled "The Savings Opportunities in Server I/O" will play on Wednesday, April 1st from 10:00-10:30 a.m. Users can register today at http://pages.xsigo.com/CostofIOWebcast.html.

"In today's economic climate, IT managers are looking for solutions that will deliver immediate savings," said Joe Skorupa, research VP at Gartner, Inc. "Server I/O is becoming a huge resource drain for IT departments and taking actions like simplifying the infrastructure using I/O virtualization can deliver immediate and significant cost-cutting benefits. I/O virtualization has the potential to help data centers reduce infrastructure costs, unify server I/O management, and eliminate I/O bottlenecks that can restrict system utilization."

Currently, server connectivity represents a large and growing expense, particularly with virtualized servers that require access to more network and storage resources in order to accommodate multiple application workloads. The result is capital and operating costs that may equal the cost of the server itself. Xsigo estimates that data centers worldwide could potentially experience a $5 billion annual capital expense savings by implementing virtual I/O.

Xsigo offers the following practical, actionable strategies including:

1) Seek out the bottlenecks: When you merge ten servers into a single device, you're putting a lot more load on the I/O resources. Use monitoring tools, such as the ones included with VMware ESX, to identify the bottlenecks that can lead to reduced asset utilization and unnecessary spending. You may find that I/O is a limiting factor, in which case you have the potential to increase your consolidation ratios.

2) A penny saved is a penny you can spend elsewhere: According to Gartner, 52% of CIOs report either flat or decreasing budgets for 2009. To increase spending on any particular initiative, you must decrease spend somewhere else. I/O is one place to look. Enterprise connectivity can cost $5,000 to $10,000 per server when you factor in cards, cables, and switch ports. Virtual I/O can cut that cost in half, saving money for other programs.

3) Stay nimble: Build in flexibility to ensure high system utilization. When servers can be assigned new connectivity at a moment's notice, you are likely to get more from those assets. If your data center has multiple physical networks, plan for the contingencies where any server must access any resource. Then you can react more quickly to unexpected changes and better meet customer and market demands.

4) Clean up your racks: Your server I/O infrastructure can cost as much as the servers themselves. On your next server deployment, strive for simplicity. A simpler I/O infrastructure costs less to buy and install, and reduces the risk of downtime due to human errors. Explore next-generation virtual I/O options that deliver scalable connectivity with 70% less hardware.

5) Look for follow-on savings: One cost-saving decision may lead to another. For example, with a simpler I/O infrastructure, you may not need as many I/O slots in your servers. Fewer slots could let you move from costly 4U servers to less expensive 2U devices. That alone can save you $8,000 per server.

6) Innovate, innovate, innovate: Doing things the same way in the future will get you roughly the same cost structure as you had in the past. Look for the high-cost areas in your infrastructure that might be improved by innovation. Game-changing technologies like server virtualization, iSCSI storage, and virtual I/O offer more cost cutting potential than belt-tightening alone. The whole point of virtualization, after all, is to do more with less.

7) Put your ROI in action: Selling your organization on new techniques can take time, but cost-saving ideas only produce benefits when they're put to work. To help accelerate the process, consider implementing new ideas in a portion of your environment. This lets you refine practices before rolling them out on a larger scale. When you get to that stage, you'll have real-life data to justify the larger deployment, and you will gain experience that will ensure success.

Published Monday, March 23, 2009 8:39 AM by David Marshall
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