Internode expands offerings on the back of virtualization success

Web-serving capacity doubles despite slashing physical servers from 11 to five

Internet Service Provider (ISP) Internode has increased the performance of its Web servers while at the same time reducing power consumption by adopting virtualization technology at its two major data centres.

Since the start of this year, Internode has progressively introduced virtual server technology to its operations.

This technique creates multiple 'virtual server' environments that more efficiently share the resources of available physical servers.

As a result, Internode has reduced the number of physical servers dedicated to Web hosting from 11 to five, while at the same time more than doubling its Web-serving capacity, creating a total of 30 'virtual servers'.

Immediate benefits include almost halving power consumption, reducing demand for air conditioning and less pressure on server rack space in its data centres.

The company is passing on the benefits to its SMB customer base with the launch of a new range of Web hosting services. . Internode Web hosting product manager, Jim Kellett, said virtualisation technology allowed the company to deliver an even better service to business customers.

"It's a wicked platform, with half the servers packing twice the punch. We typically build a 'best of breed' platform for our own operational purposes, and subsequently extend the same platform to deliver great value to our customers," he said.

"Virtualisation makes a far more efficient use of servers and eliminates single points of failure, especially as we have spread the physical servers and data storage across our two major data centres.

"If one of the physical servers fails or a data centre is compromised, then the system immediately transfers the load to other servers or the other data centre with minimal disruption."

Not to mention the green dividend, Kellett added.

Internode has five Sun x4100 servers running VMWare version 3.0, delivering about 30 virtual servers for its internal and customer Web-serving requirements.

The company hosts about 1500 customer Web sites, ranging from a simple, single-page presence to sophisticated database-driven e-commerce sites.

Kellett said the new platform has been engineered for scalability and there are three new planx available to customers for either Windows or Unix-based Web sites.

He said the plans cover entry-level requirements for small businesses, to dynamic hosting with SLAs, right through to database Web hosting for more demanding environments.

Planned product developments include fully customised virtual private servers for both Internet and Intranet applications.

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