Intel IT's experience w/Virtualization
As this is my first blog on this forum, I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Bill Sunderland and I have been working at Intel for 13 years primarily working on Server Hardware Engineering and the last four years of which I have focused my efforts on Program Managing the Virtualization Engineering releases for Intel IT. Last year, I published a WP demonstrating the methodology we used:
While this WP is a year old now, it s still very useful to learn how a large corporation implemented virtualization. The challenges remain 'virtually' the same. As of 2H '09, we have over 1400 VM's deployed across eight major sites worldwide. We are currently on average at 9:1 consolidation ratios with calculated available capacity to achieve 15:1 ratios.
A superb new bit of information is our WP on Nehalem's performance. Here's the WP introduction and link: "Learn about Intel IT’s proof-of-concept testing and total cost of ownership (TCO) analysis to assess the virtualization capabilities of Intel® Xeon® processor 5500 series. Our results show that, compared with the previous server generation, two-socket servers based on Intel Xeon processor 5500 series can support approximately 2x as many VMs for the same TCO."
As you will see from the WP, we are anxious to begin our deployments on Nehalem.
There is one more good source of information we have on this topic in presentation format that is currently undergoing legal/proofing before being shared externally. This is due for release in 2weeks. However, i did want to point out a great key learning from the presentation with regards to our comprehensive ROI study we conducted. In short, we analyzed the sources of positive/negative ROI as percentages. 'Our study' showed the following results for deploying via virtualization as compared to normal physical servers:
40% Server Capital Reductions
11% Ethernet Switch Port Reductions
10% Power Reductions
7% Rack Reductions
3% Ethernet Cable Reductions
3% Ethernet Cable Run Reductions
3% Deployment Labor Reductions
10% Virtualization License Cost
9% SAN Cost
2% FC Switch Port Cost
This analysis really helps to understand where the savings are costs are coming from. As a result we looked at the negative ROI factors and tried to determine if we could reduce these costs even further. We found one opportunity in the SAN cost area and already implemented the change. We saw that we were using expensive FC HDD's for our entire virtualized environment. We noted that 70% of our virtualized environment was pre-production while the other 30% was production. As a result we determined that we could use the less expensive SATA HDD's for our pre-production environment.
I hope this information is helpful!
Intel IT Server Virtualization Program Mgr.