Intel users power up virtual servers

In a sign that virtualization is becoming more mainstream, two local enterprises have used the technology to reduce operating expenses for their Intel systems.

Jason Waxman, Intel's global director of the server platform group, visiting local users this week, said with more than 90 percent of IT expenditure going towards maintenance there needs to be a "shift towards innovation".

To achieve this, Waxman recommends reducing under utilized servers, client maintenance, and power consumption.

He cited Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) as one company that used VMware's ESX server to halve its server count. With virtualization, CCA also reduced software licensing and maintenance costs. The company is now using VMware's VMotion product for disaster recovery.

Waxman said while only 2 percent of servers are bought with virtualization built-in, year-on-year growth of 50 percent is expected.

Claiming Intel's professional services arm is expert on virtualization, he said the company's server count has increased 50-fold over the last 10 years, but through virtualization it has created "one gigantic resource pool".

The company expects to save about $US350 million in operating expenses.

Waxman said customers look increasingly at virtualization technology to allow virtual machines to move from one part of the data centre to another.

This introduces the "dynamic data centre" concept whereby workloads can be 'moved' to different parts of the data centre to make the best use of resources. Waxman also cited Victoria's Melton Shire Council move from 12 to four servers through virtualization.

The council's SQL Server applications running on Xeon can now be deployed in "minutes versus weeks".

Regarding power consumption, Waxman said Intel's server processors have gone from consuming 135W of power to 40W, and with 1000 servers this could translate to as much $250,000 a year in power savings.

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