Enterprise heavyweights back virtualisation across APAC

Three year project to save "many" millions

Australian enterprises are throwing their weight behind a nation-wide virtualization project being undertaken by outsourcing giant EDS.

The massive project will generate "many millions" in savings through an incredible 10,500-server rationalization project for clients in Australia and New Zealand.

The project is six months through its three-year time line which will see the entire fleet of Unix and datacentre Wintel servers, spread across eight data centres in Australia and New Zealand rationalised.

"It will save us 65 percent in hardware, cut costs in power and cooling and drop support and licensing costs," according to Bill Croucher, EDS data centre executive.

He said the project kicked-off following a TCO business study which found the potential to save big bucks through fleet rationalisation.

"The project will save us approximately 65 percent in hardware deployment, and consequently cut facility costs in power and cooling," Croucher said.

"Standardization will drop direct and indirect support costs because we can better utilise our own support people, and there's further opportunites to save money on licensing agreements."

He said the project is still in the "throes of implementation" because a client-by-client contract analysis is required to map out which client servers can be rationalised based on signed agreements.

"Infrastructure ownership varies between contracts, and while we still need to work with the clients to educate them on the benefits of rationalisation through consolidation and virtualization, most are excited," he said.

So far, the client business cases have garnered customer support from the company's biggest accounts.

"Clients are really keen because they see cost savings and increased agility, though capacity deployment which takes minutes rather than weeks, and a costing model designed to accommodate," Croucher said.

The company is also finishing a nine-month preliminary housekeeping project to create guidelines and processes for ongoing support of the standardized rationalization of its Unix and Windows-based servers.

While Croucher acknowledged the importance of security in virtualization, he said it is more a matter of education.

"There are concerns regarding security with using a public utility for multiple accounts on the same infrastructure, although we are providing a private virtualization capacity to each client", he said, adding that security must address company and client.

EDS will work cooperatively with its US counterparts which are undertaking similar consolidation projects.

He said the company's virtualized servers will be publicly available to clients following the competition of a feasibility trial in August this year

Croucher said the sites will share learnings and opportunities for standardizing procedures and process documentation, training, and licensing which will allow the local offices to purchase discounted hardware and software through global supply chain management.

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