October 27, 2010

Service Orchestration: Evolving to the Virtual Data Center

  • An Analysis by Jim Metzler, Ashton, Metzler & Associates
  • Webtorials Analyst Division
Data center managers are faced with an array of challenges. This includes the requirement to support the rapid growth in applications and storage with minimum budget increases, as well as the ever-increasing pressure to become more agile in order to respond to constantly changing business requirements. One approach that IT organizations have taken in order to respond to these challenges is to implement server virtualization. The primary factor that drove the initial implementations of server virtualization was the significant cost savings that result from hosting multiple virtual machines (VMs) on a single physical server. These savings include reducing the cost of servers, as well as the cost of the supporting real estate, power and cooling. While cost savings is still a significant driver, today there are two additional drivers of server virtualization. These drivers are the ability to provision VMs and the ability to move VMs among physical servers, both within a given data center and between disparate data centers, in a matter of seconds or minutes.

Unfortunately, while computing resources have become virtualized and dynamic, most of the rest of the IT infrastructure is still physical and static. As a result, deploying new services and/or making changes in the alignment of all the infrastructure resources (e.g., servers, networks, security and storage) that support a service typically requires numerous time-consuming manual tasks that span a number of technology and organizational boundaries. This combination of tedious manual processes and the inefficiencies created by organizational silos leads to escalating workloads and operating expenses. This combination also leads to having processes that don't complete in seconds or minutes, but in days or weeks.

This goal of this white paper is to demonstrate that service orchestration can automate the configuration of physical and virtual entities and can control the allocation of resources shared among a number of virtual services. Because it provides this functionality, service orchestration enables IT organizations to substantially lower cost and improve operational efficiencies by maximizing the leverage achievable from a shared pool of resources within the virtual data center infrastructure.

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1 Comment

One of the most gratifying parts of being editor/publisher is that our sponsors provide the financial basis that allows us to publish independent editorial content.

Many thanks to the sponsors, and I hope you enjoy this excellent paper by Jim Metzler.

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