Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Right-Size Your Virtual Platform

In virtualization circles, consolidation ratios have become the stuff of bragging rights. A year ago, if you bought a top-of-the-line server and loaded it with memory and connectivity, you might have been able to consolidate 30 or more physical servers onto one trickedout machine.According to Moore's law,what was last year's trickedout server should now be mainstream technology.Does that mean everyone should shoot for consolidation ratios of 30 or more? No, and here's why.

Read the rest of the digital issue on Next Generation Data Centers. [registration required]

To consolidate at such high ratios, most of us would choose the newest four-socket systems.While quite powerful, these servers generally cost more than double their two-socket counterparts. Choosing between the two-socket or four-socket host server is a critical decision for consolidating at modest to very high ratios.The two-socket system can be quite powerful in today's configuration. AMD's and Intel's current systems are built with virtualization awareness, and the performance shows.

What Moore's law does for processor performance, it also does for memory capacity and cost. A few years ago the cost to get server memory north of 64 GB was substantial. Today, 64, 96, and 128 GB are quite affordable.As a result,more, smaller hosts can be provisioned with a lot of memory without breaking the bank.That argues for deploying more two-socket systems with lots of memory in them and not relying on techniques like overcommitted memory.

Whatever your consolidation ratio, the physical server is now a highly critical system and had better be highly available.Virtualization implementations primarily employ one of two high-availability technologies to protect workloads: host-based or virtual machine-based with Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware's Fault Tolerance.

  • 1