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Server Acquisition Trends Show Success of Data Center Optimization
Proliferation of low-end servers is a common problem in data centers today, resulting in low overall utilization of server hardware, higher-than-needed support costs and excess energy consumption. In response, data center managers have been using server virtualization and consolidation to restrain the growth of all classes of servers and to reduce overall spending on server hardware and software. This study examines server count trends by organization size. It also explores how the typical data center's workload is distributed among various operating systems. Finally, it looks at spending on server hardware and software over the past three years as a percentage of the IT budget. (8 pp., 8 figs)[Executive Summary]
Virtualization Improves Productivity of Data Center Staff
One of the least recognized factors of server virtualization ROI is the positive impact that virtualization has on the productivity of data center personnel. In this article, we provide statistics showing that the productivity of data center staff improved significantly from 2006 and 2007, concurrent with an increase in OS virtualization levels. These trends are consistent across Windows, Unix, and Linux platforms. We conclude by summarizing the reasons that data center staff productivity benefits from increasing the level of virtualization. (4 pp., 4 figs.)[Executive Summary]
Most Windows and UNIX Servers Are Underutilized
Because of the declining costs of computer hardware, many organizations simply add more servers for each new application or service to be provided. This leads to proliferation of servers that are largely underutilized. On prime shift, nearly 80% of production UNIX servers are less than 20% utilized. Even worse: over 90% of Windows servers utilize less than 20% of their capacity.
The Case for Mainframe Migration and Consolidation
Mainframe computers still occupy a major position in the hardware inventory of many data centers, especially in certain industries such as banking, finance, and insurance, and among larger companies. According to statistics collected in our annual IT spending survey, the economic performance of mainframes is not as good as that of other hardware platforms, especially in data centers where mainframe computers are used in a mix with other classes of servers. For organizations with such a heterogeneous server mix, these findings may be used to justify migration of mainframe applications to other server platforms or, at a minimum, undertake a mainframe server consolidation strategy. (8 pp., 7 figs.)[Executive Summary]
Organizations Move Toward Server Consolidation Cost Savings
Many IT managers have found that their server farms have proliferated to the extent that a great deal of staff time must be dedicated to the maintaining of this infrastructure rather than the development of new capabilities. In such cases, server consolidation becomes an attractive possibility. Results of Computer Economics' 2003 Information Systems Spending survey indicate that nearly one-half of all IT organizations are involved in server consolidation.