Corralling Server Sprawl
Virtualization can be made easier with an automated solution for instance management.
Illustration by Dan Guidera
Is your installation struggling to keep up with demands for data availability by adding more and more servers? If so, your budget is getting hit hard, not just with the initial purchases, but also with the requirements for space and resources to manage these servers. Taking advantage of the virtualization under z/VM* to run Linux* instances can help an organization cut costs significantly while optimizing performance. Automated instance management allows you to create multiple instances as needed, customized to fit your unique environment, and monitor the instances from an interface that's straightforward for both Linux and mainframe experts.
IT teams tend to consider consolidation when servers approach the end of their useful lives or as demand outpaces resources. You can replace your existing servers on a one-for-one basis and add servers here and there to try to keep pace with data growth, but what about reducing floor-space requirements and power resources? What about improving the infrastructure's manageability and availability? And what if your manager asks about the value you're getting for the investment?
When it comes to the bottom line, ongoing support costs significantly affect the long-term cost of ownership. As energy prices continue to rise, datacenters face higher costs associated with powering and cooling a large number of servers. An increase in the number of servers means you'll need more resources to keep the servers up and running. In a press release titled, "Gartner Highlights Key Predictions for IT Organizations in 2007 and Beyond," Gartner predicts, "By 2008, nearly 50 percent of datacenters worldwide will lack the necessary power and cooling capacity to support high-density equipment" (www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=499323).
Server consolidation is increasingly crucial in the IT enterprise because it helps you accomplish more with fewer resources and centralize system management and maintenance. With z/VM, the System z* virtualization technology, you can run several applications and infrastructure solutions within a single server to share computing resources and allocate these resources when needed. Improving system efficiency and reliability helps lower costs. You may even be eligible for incentives for decreasing your energy costs. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), one of the largest combination natural gas and electric utilities in the United States, is now offering financial incentives for saving energy through server consolidation. In addition to increasing your computing power cost-effectively, consolidation may provide better control, serviceability, scalability and reliability.
Running Multiple Linux Instances on z/VM
Tens or hundreds of Linux instances can run on a single z/VM host - potentially providing serious savings in terms of time and resources. When you run Linux as a guest of z/VM, the mainframe's power and resources are utilized as needed, so you don't have to purchase and maintain separate dedicated hardware for each Linux server. As a bonus, you'll achieve improved responsiveness because system resources (e.g., DASD) can be shared by many Linux instances and the virtual network connections between them can be much faster than those of a physical network.
One of the major benefits of running Linux on z/VM is the ability to create new instances as needed, without requiring further investment in additional servers, floor space, etc. However, repeatedly creating, configuring and updating Linux instances manually can be tedious and time consuming. Commonly, those who are asked to perform these tasks are Linux staff with little z/VM knowledge or z/VM staff with little Linux knowledge. For both groups, managing Linux instances on z/VM introduces new challenges, increasing the risk of error and the time required.
Server consolidation is increasingly crucial in the IT enterprise because it helps you accomplish more with fewer resources and centralize system management and maintenance.
Search our new 2013 Buyer's Guide.
E-Newsletter | Integration with InfraStruXure Centeral provides single management interface.
Web Exclusive | IBM BladeCenter and virtualization team up for greener data centers