What is happening to your IT budget this year
Saving money in IT in 2010 is a serious concern. The year 2009 has taken its toll on many companies. Budget cutbacks have become commonplace it seems. In the midst of these times, many companies feel that the easiest place to cut back expenses is in the IT department. Often IT is labeled as expendable. However, what if the businesses could upgrade and not only save but increase their performance. In 2010 companies have the opportunity to improve their IT departments and increase their profits. With the technologies that are available today these changes are easier than ever. Two of these technologies are blase servers and virtualization. Moving to these in the past have been reputed to be costly, but this is no longer the case and they can produce rapid Return On Investment (ROI). Both options conserve power as-well-as reducing the amount of physical hardware that must be purchased. These can also produce great gains in performance.
HP BL460 Blade Server
Blade servers, while not brand new technology, are one of the most unused devices in IT today. Their use is on the rise however and here is why in a real world example. A company using standard high performance servers spends $58,000 on a single server as a SQL server. A standard server for hosting applications would costs the company $8,000.
- 1 Web/Application server: $8,000
- 1 SQL server: $58,000
- Total for two servers: $76,000
This company however has as many as 4-6 SQL servers and upward of 30 application and web servers, multiplying the costs. Now to look at the costs of the same two servers using blade technology. Purchasing an enclosure for the blades costs the company $18,000. The vendor gives the chassis/enclosure to the company free of charge because they purchased all of the necessary equipment to use the chassis (power supplies, fiber switches, ethernet switches, etc). To purchase the blade equivalent of the SQL server costs $20,000, and the blade equivalent of the application/web server costs $8,000.
- Blade server chassis and related equipment: $18,000
- Blade for SQL Server: $20,000
- Blade for Web/Application server: $8,000
- Total for all equipment: $56,000
At this point purchasing only two servers the company has saved $20,000. A single chassis can support 14 or more blades, therefore multiplying the savings as you add servers. You must take into account that some of the highest end servers take up two slots, SQL servers for instance. Still one chassis could easily run two SQL servers and 10 physical web/app servers.
VM Ware ESXi
However, what if a company wanted to save even more and obtain an even greater ROI? This is where virtualization comes in. Using virtualization software a company can easily turn 3-4, and possibly even more, physical servers into a single physical server, which hosts those same 3-4 servers. Rather than a physical box, now there is an image of the server which runs and appears exactly the same to users, but only one box is using power and only one box needs to be purchased. Combine this with blade technology, and a company can easily combine 40 servers into a single piece of hardware, with each blade hosting as many as 4 virtualized servers if not more, depending on the load for each server. One virtualization company, VMWare, typically sees a ROI of 9 months on their software. There are many other great advantages to virtualization besides power savings and hardware cost savings as well such as, disaster recovery, redundancy, load balancing, and more.