Virtualization Growth Stronger in Dev, Test, & Quality Server Environments, than Production

Enterprise Systems has an article with an Avanade Infrastructure Architect

Q&A: Virtualization -- From ROI to Optimization

From determining the ROI to ensuring you're getting the most from the technology, an infrastructure architect offers tips for IT professionals.

by James E. Powell


Whenever IT undertakes a new project, a project manager must be prepared to answer a key question: what's the value of this project to the organization? IT must overcome any objections, and one effective way to handle this is to present upper management with a thorough ROI analysis. Determining the ROI of a project -- especially one that involves virtualization -- can be tricky.

After a project is approved, the real work begins -- but it's only the beginning. IT must always ask itself how it can get the most out of a technology.

We explore these ideas with Steve Fink, a senior infrastructure architect in the Americas CTO Organization at Avanade, a global IT consultancy. Steve is responsible for managing the opportunity pipeline with Accenture's Technology Consulting, Data Center Technologies, and Operations organization. Steve also plays a role in defining Avanade's "Next Generation Data Center" strategy, particularly concerning physical data center design and virtualization.

It was refreshing to hear Steve Fink make the point virtualization growth has been stronger in the dev, test, & quality (pre-production) environments than production.

We've seen virtualized servers and storage virtualization is getting a lot of buzz lately. Where is virtualization heading?

At Avanade, we believe that server virtualization will continue to proliferate within the operating environments. The take up has been rather strong in DEV, TST, & QUAL server environments for several years already.

As much as people have been focusing on virtualization in the data center, the most underutilized hardware is in the pre-production (dev, test, and quality) server environments.  This area has a higher virtualization ROI and is easier to deploy given systems can be down in pre-production to get the virtualization environment right.  In general, the PUE’s are significantly worse in these pre-production environments than data centers, so the cooling costs are much higher per watt consumed.  Although, companies like Sun and Microsoft are getting smart and centralizing pre-production environments in production quality data centers, taking equipment out of retrofitted office buildings is still rare.

The pre-production area are the early adopter of virtualization and will test VMWare, XenServer, Hyper-V, and other virtualization technologies.  Done right virtualization in pre-production should enable a more accurate simulation of the production environment adding infrastructure like networking and Security to the environment.

The pre-production server environment should be part of your green data center strategy.  This is where you can test SW/HW and get your own data and filter the greenwash