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Capacity Planning for More Improved Data Center Virtualization

By Hani Abas Lead Consultant, Edarat Group

Capacity Planning for More Improved Data Center Virtualization

Capacity planning is essential for data center virtualization. Virtualization of data center indicates an assemblage of virtualization activities. These activities attempt to optimize infrastructure creating a virtualized computing environment within the data center. As business activities are becoming more and more complicated, virtualization of data centers is becoming a dire need. The fundamental objective of a company is to increase productivity by maintaining business continuity. For keeping the data centers up and running on a 24/7 basis and optimize capability of IT infrastructure, organizations opt for setting up multiple data centers across different geographical locations and equip those data centers with replicated data and applications. The mission critical data and applications is backed up. Most organizations keep the redundant sites for backup and in this sense, their data centers are non-performing. But if data center resources are virtualized, those non-performing units will start performing. In the present time, when backup is taken to the secondary site, data duplication and failover are manually handled. However, with the use of data center virtualization, the secondary sites will be functional on a nonstop basis. The advantages are better maintenance of data centers, ease at handling data duplication and increased uptime. For more improved data center virtualization, capacity planning comes in handy because virtualization of infrastructure necessitates a look into infrastructure capacity and performance. Better understanding of infrastructure component usage for data centers can facilitate virtualization process, which in turn implies improved level of performance, reduction of power consumption and hardware dependency. Capacity planning rules out organizational discrepancies and increases business value. The formula is; Capacity = Number of machines/workers x Number of shifts x Utilization x Efficiency Increase in any of these factors implies augmentation of capacity. So, capacity planning could be instrumental in suggesting how virtualization could amplify the efficiency of existing data centers.

Also, there are some challenges that data center virtualization undergoes and capacity planning could be effective in overcoming those challenges. One of such challenges is to move ahead with the idea of running more virtual workloads on less number of physical systems. Organizations are a bit hasty in implementing this solution; they purchase cheap from hardware vendors and use that as an input into the hardware to support virtual workload. Capacity planning can help those businesses to carefully select a physical system to get high utilization. Application performance could also be an issue; most applications aren’t ready to face the virtual atmosphere. As a result, they yield substandard performance. Through capacity planning, it can be approximated which applications lack support for virtual servers and which servers will fail to keep its performance if moved to virtual environment. This implies more efficiency. Software licensing could be a challenge for data center virtualization. Some software has special licensing agreement, which restricts them to CPU usage. To run them on virtual servers, the organization will have to invest more. Capacity planning could help getting an idea if high utilization could be expected from those software and thereby justify the decision of purchasing or not purchasing them. In a nutshell, growing demand of data center visualization calls for efficient capacity planning. We, at Edarat Group, always take into consideration the below when assessing IT infrastructure  Define the Recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs) since they affect the technology decision.  Specify the critical applications and their number in the clients’ environment  Check the availability of data replication  Specify the maturity of the client virtual environment  Provide an automation solution that runs whenever a DR is declared (an automation solution without being automated)  Determine the replication strategy:  SAN to SAN replication  Host based replication  Combination of both replications

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