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September 25, 2015



"Take 100 storage footprints. The same discussion applies: you could store them on 100 individual devices, do a bit of sharing across 10 arrays, or buy one big honking storage array for them all."

Yes.. or two big honking arrays. I think storage consolidation is a better story and getting better. Back in the day, it was exactly how you describe. The big money making department paid for those 8-paks in the Symm, no freakin' way anyone else gets to touch it. Lots of little stranded storage capacity never to be touched.

Fast forward and now I see big honking storage arrays with PB of capacity, thin provisioned, giant pools and it gets handed out to the customer's delight because that 200 TB they insisted on is presented but they are only writing to 80 TB of it (shhhhhh! don't tell anyone).

But yeah.. the server side is a bit more of a mess. Containers is the answer, what was the question again?

> People will drive all over town to save two cents a gallon on gas, right?

Nope. I paid $1.45 a gallon to fill my tank this morning with my Giant Food gas rewards for buying their product. It's 2015, get with the program.

Aernoud van de Graaff

You always trigger something in me with your blogs, Chuck.

I build a lot of business cases with our customers to optimize and automate their IT and consolidation is by far the biggest money saver. Going from physical to virtual or just by putting a whole bunch of DBs on the same DB server.

Generally I find (op paper) that there is a potential to save 50% of the DC related cost in the DC itself, HW, SW and people.

Yes, I come from a time where we had stickers on servers stating who's server it was and what application it ran. Fortunately this 'hugging' behaviour is mostly gone now.

But that brings me to the new discussion. Sizing. Try talk to the business about reducing the size of their (virtual) server. Even if you can show that for the last 3 years their application has only used 2 CPUs and 4 GB memory and 50 GB storage. They still want it to be the 8 CPU, 16 GB memory and 250 GB. Either just to be sure or because the vendor of the software claims their software needs these specs to run smoothly and cannot guarantee performance if their application runs on anything less than their specs.

Recognise this?

They are plotting their physical server specs on a virtual environment. So sizing the applications to what they actually need you can generally take out another 50% or more of your server and storage resources, subsequently also reducing DC footprint and CPU based license cost.

And showing back or even charging back the cost helps (though not for all).

One more closing remark. You are absolutely right about the issue that if you consolidate and something goes wrong, the impact is a lot bigger. And because the environment is far more fluid (e.g. with vMotion continuously moving VMs around) you need good tooling to manage your environment. To understand capacity behaviour, find problems before they go wrong or able to recover quickly if there is an incident. Specially in larger environments it is no longer doable to do this manually.

So automation is not just about being more efficient, but also more reliable, secure, resilient, performant, available, compliant and lets not forget agile.

In the end, nobodies business accelerated because of efficiency, it is all about being more reliable and flexible that really matters to the business.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
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