Australian Intel users power up virtual servers

CCA expects to save about US$350 million (NZ$559 million) in operating expenses

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

Jason Waxman, Intel’s global director of the server platform group, says with more than 90% of IT expenditure going towards maintenance there needs to be a “shift towards innovation”.

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

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

Waxman says that while only 2% of servers are bought with virtualisation built-in, year-on-year growth of 50% is expected.

Claiming Intel’s professional services arm is expert on virtualisation, he says the company’s server count has increased 50-fold over the last ten years, but through virtualisation it has created “one gigantic resource pool”.

The company expects to save about US$350 million (NZ$559 million) in operating expenses.

Waxman says customers are looking at virtualisation technology to allow virtual machines to move from one part of the datacentre to another.

This introduces the “dynamic datacentre” concept, whereby workloads can be “moved” to different parts of the datacentre to make the best use of resources. Waxman also cites Victoria’s Melton Shire Council’s move from 12 to four servers through virtualisation.

The council’s SQL Server applications running on Xeon can now be deployed in “minutes versus weeks”.

Regarding power consumption, Waxman says Intel’s server processors have gone from consuming 135W of power to 40W and with 1,000 servers this could translate to as much US$250,000 a year in power savings.

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