Friday, September 29, 2006
IT professionals face the dichotomy between server sprawl and low asset utilization.
Between production, failover, disaster recovery, test, and development, many enterprises face 100% year over year server growth. For every server in production, another four or more are in place to support the deployment and development of a given application.
At the same time, server utilization remains anemic, often less than 15%. What drives such waste and inefficiency? Why the continued sprawl if existing resources remain available for consumption?
The problem lies in the inability to easily repurpose servers from one application to another. Repurposing is shackled by three constraints: 1) software constraints, 2) LAN constraints, and 3) SAN constraints.
Operating systems and applications are hard to change independent of powering down the server, servers are bound by their LAN IP addresses and require reconfiguring and often recabling to be available to other network resources, and servers, via HBAs, are hard-bound to certain LUN segments on the storage network.
Accordingly, it is often quicker, easier, and cheaper to simply add a net new server in the data center then it is to repurpose a server from one application use case to another.
Thankfully, Scalent, a Hummer Winblad portfolio company, provides a solution that frees servers from the three shackles noted above and allows IT to instantly repurpose existing assets - servers, LAN connectivity, and storage access - for alternate use.
Scalent virtualizes all the assets required to deploy a business system and by providing a virtualized abstraction eliminates the physical constraints to changing server A from running application B to application A on the fly.
Repurposing servers eliminates the driver behind server sprawl and allows IT organizations to dramatically increase utilization, and hence return on assets.
Scalent recently received an outstanding and in depth review from InfoWorld's Paul Venezia. The report outlines a set of detailed deployment use cases and provides strong validation of the approach and implementation.
Paul writes," Not many products truly deliver what they promise. Scalent, however, comes as close to keeping its pledge as anything I've seen. Scalent is attempting - and succeeding - at reaching the pinnacle of datacenter management: a truly adaptive infrastructure."