EDS stands to save “hundreds of millions” by rolling out a massive 10,500-server rationalisation project for its clients in New Zealand and Australia.
The project is six months through its three-year time line which will see the entire fleet of Unix servers, spread across eight datacentres in the two countries, converted into a virtualised environment.
EDS Asia Pacific datacentre executive Bill Croucher says the project kicked-off following a TCO business study which found the company could save “hundreds of millions” by converting to full virtualisation.
“The project will save us a massive 65% in hardware [deployment], and consequently cut facility costs in power and cooling. Standardisation will drop direct and indirect support costs because we can use our own support people, and there’s further opportunity to save money on licensing agreements,” Croucher says.
Large enterprise customers of EDS have thrown their weight behind the project, Croucher says.
He says 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 virtualised based on signed agreements.
“Infrastructure ownership varies between contracts, and while we still need to work with the client to sell them the idea of virtualisation, most are excited,” he says.
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 says.
The company is also finishing a nine-month preliminary housekeeping project to create guidelines and to standardise the rationalisation of its Unix and Windows-based servers. This will eventually include mainframes.
While Croucher acknowledges the importance of security in virtualisation, he says it is more a matter of education.
“There are always security concerns especially with using a public utility for multiple accounts on the same infrastructure, although we are providing a private virtualisation capacity to each client so we aren’t there just yet,” he says, adding that security must address company and client.
EDS will work cooperatively with its US offices which are undertaking similar consolidation projects. Croucher says the sites will share learnings and opportunities for standardising procedures and process documentation, training, and licensing which will allow the local offices to purchase discounted hardware and software through global supply chain management.
Croucher says the company’s virtualised servers will be publicly available to clients following the competition of a feasibility trial in August this year.