Seabreeze Virtualization Adoption Plan
Executive Summary: This document lays out a plan to virtualize the city of Seabreeze server infrastructure as a method of reducing costs in light of recent budgetary issues. It addresses barriers to adoption such as resources, knowledge, maintenance, and finances. It discusses the virtualization technology and barriers to implementing it as well as how to overcome them. Leadership buy-in will be critical so the paper will discuss ways to encourage them to support the project. Finally, the paper discusses the end user and how virtualization will affect them as well as how to deal with potential resistance to this adoption. The final recommendation of the paper is the virtualization of the city’s server infrastructure and workstations.
Benefits and Barriers
Virtualization has proven it has the ability to dramatically impact both performance and financial bottom line in the enterprise environment. The city of Seabreeze is considering a move to virtualization of its IT infrastructure; 72 servers and several associated direct-attached storage devices. Migrating to a virtual environment will offer the city a number of benefits. Given the ever greater need to be ‘green’, virtualization will allow the consolidation of these 72 servers into 7. And while we do not know the exact hardware specifications for the city, an example might give some scope. Consider the Dell R710, a mainstream server with large-scale adoption. Assuming 48GB RAM, 2 6-core Xeon processors and 4 15k SAS hard drives, the machine will average 300 watts during peak times. Taking the national average price from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (n.d.) website, 12.97¢ per Kilowatthour taken as a national average, and applying it to the city’s current system the result is: $24,440.40. Taking advantage of virtualization, the number of physical machines is reduced to 7 which will cost approximately $2,376.15 per year in electricity, a 97% reduction in energy use or $22, 064.25 in savings per year. Another benefit to virtualization is reduced hardware. Less hardware means less equipment failures, reduced need for staff to service those machines, and less need for space to house the hardware. It also means less supporting hardware such as switches, racks, and cables. Want more? A virtual environment allows for the deployment of lab environments where new projects can be implemented on a small scale in a separate space where bugs can be worked out before being pushed into the production environment. That leads to yet another benefit; provisioning. Virtualization allows new servers to be stood up in a fraction of the time it would take for a physical server. This saves hours or even days working through the manual installation process. Virtualization also allows the transfer of a virtual device from one physical host to another without the need to shut it down. This means no downtime when a physical host needs maintenance or is being upgraded, particularly useful for websites. And even when the hardware does fail unexpectedly, virtualization mitigates this through automatic failover. The system detects that a virtual machine is not running and powers it up on a different host. Finally, virtualization allows legacy applications that are used but do not have a modern replacement to continue to run on a virtual machine running a compatible operating system. Negative Implications
There are, of course, arguments against virtualization. Chief among them is the fact that consolidating servers into fewer physical machines, the impact of a failure is magnified; instead of a single server becoming unavailable there are many. If, for example, all of your print servers are hosted on a single machine and it fails, print services will be unavailable until the issue is resolved. This is easily handled by spreading related systems across multiple hosts. If you have three domain controllers, run them on...
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