Benefits of Server Virtualization

Server virtualization has been in the previous number of yrs and nonetheless is a main IT craze on which firms are concentrating their interest and their investments. There are many fantastic explanations for this interest that we examine in this temporary post. We shall classify the benefits of server virtualization in two wide groups:

  • economical benefits (e.g., reduction of server HW maintenance expenses)
  • intangible added benefits (e.g., increased versatility).

We shall see that although the latter are the most vital lengthy-time period added benefits, the former are people that generally perform a key position in the investment decision determination approach due to the fact they are simpler to quantify and their benefit can thus be better grasped.

As each and every other investments people in server virtualization have their have hazards. While we understand their existence and their worth we will not assess them in this short article.

Fiscal advantages

Most of server virtualization projects are also server consolidation venture in the perception that one particular of the primary project outcomes is an spectacular reduction of the selection of servers. Evidently there are server virtualization assignments (e.g., desktop virtualization) that do not aim at reducing the selection of servers, but all those that concentrate on server consolidation make extraordinary reductions of the range of servers. With present systems it is typical to see 30:1 (or even higher) consolidation ratios. The net end result is that substantial server farms consisting of hundreds of servers are replaced by extremely couple servers internet hosting hundreds of Virtual Equipment (VMs).

We designed just lately for one of our clientele an in-depth investigation based on serious prices of the positive aspects of a server virtualization venture. The most striking outcome of the analysis is that the sheer price savings owing lessened server HW routine maintenance expenditures offset all the other job costs (such as new servers acquire, project implementation) above a four year time horizon when tax defend is taken into account. Enable more explain this place. A single of the most reliable standards applied to evaluate regardless of whether it tends to make perception to make investments dollars in a task is the computation of the Net Current Benefit of the project. The Net Existing Worth is a basic method that normally takes into account the simple simple fact that 1$ now values extra than 1$ in a single year by discounting the potential costs and benefits by indicates of the so identified as chance cost of cash. In our project we computed the Internet Existing Worth of the venture about a 4 decades time horizon, specifically by using into account expenditures and rewards for the subsequent four yrs. We also took into account the point that long run expenses and gains have to have to be discounted and that if you spend your funds in a project you will have tax cost savings (tax protect) that partly offset your costs. Taking all that into account we recognized that the HW servicing personal savings were being ample to make the Web Current Price optimistic.

Evidently this is placing mainly because all other fiscal advantages can be summed up the HW upkeep discounts therefore more strengthening the Web Present Value of the task. This is accurately what happened when we added the other key categories of fiscal advantages:

  • Ground place savings
  • Electrical power use cost savings
  • SW licenses savings

These latter rewards are mainly latent in the sense that they are accrued less than particular conditions. For occasion in a server virtualization task that is also a server consolidation job you may well conclusion up with important datacenter flooring place utilization reduction but that does not always signify you have any discounts. If your datacenter profession rate is near to the highest this may perhaps come to be a actual, extremely essential profit that interprets in major personal savings if not, its usefulness is disputable.

By the very same token, although you will probably have an amazing reduction of electric power use, the IT section may possibly be uninterested to these price savings for the pretty simple purpose that these charges are normally not charged to the IT division. Though that may possibly look strange to an individual, this is what we see most of the time with our shoppers.

A server virtualization undertaking involves new SW licenses fees, e.g., for the Virtual Machine Check SW, but below some situation it can also provide a important reduction of SW licenses prices. In a sheer server consolidation project with no consolidation of OS or application situations this reduction is obviously not thanks to the simplification of the SW stack but on the opposite to the particular capabilities of the SW licensing procedures. Licensing rules in virtualized settings are specially sophisticated and it may perhaps as a result occur that the web final result is not a reduction of SW licenses charges but truly an enhance of SW licenses costs. In our project there were being on the opposite substantial financial savings for a particular set of essential SW apps. It is vital to emphasize that these positive aspects ended up latent in the feeling that provided the SW license agreement the customer could not get his dollars back for the now compensated SW licenses nevertheless the consumer would be able to improve the number of deployed application cases at no extra expense.

Intangible rewards

Accountants classify property in 3 wide types: financial, tangible and intangible. The initially classification is made up of cash, stocks, shares, etcetera. The second class is made up of belongings that can be touched like buildings, crops, etcetera. The past group has all other belongings like for instance patents, business enterprise procedures and so on. Evidently the previous classification is so wide to make evaluation and valuation extremely hard. At the base of this article you will come across references on wherever you can come across further analysis of the intangible assets with precise emphasis on those people that enjoy a key position in an IT expense venture. Let now emphasis on those people belongings that engage in a most important position in server virtualization challenge.

According to CIO surveys a single of the leading rationales for investing in server virtualization is the greater adaptability. Server virtualization can make the procedure of deploying new OS cases very more rapidly because you do not have to have any longer to procure a new server ahead of the deployment. That signifies IT departments can react significantly quicker to requests coming from organization lines by adapting their infrastructure to new requirements (e.g., new advertising strategies). This gain is clearly crucial but it is quite challenging to quantify. Valuation is achievable but extremely number of IT departments would be eager on investing time in these types of a quantification and incredibly couple CFOs would rely on the figures obtained by means of this valuation approach.


Even so benefits like flexibility are much extra crucial than monetary gains in the prolonged phrase. If IT property are deemed a strategic useful resource fairly than a commodity it is vital to shell out shut interest to the intangible advantages. Companies for which IT is a strategic resource will need to concentration on these assets that are not only useful but also difficult to imitate. In a server virtualization project assets like servers, virtualization SW, or more frequently anything you can procure on the industry is not difficult to imitate and therefore delivers very little strategic gain. On the contrary organization procedures implemented by the IT division to manage competently the virtualized server farm (e.g., to stop VM sprawl) getting a elaborate mixture of SW purposes, application configurations, in-residence developed scripts, capabilities and know-how are considerably far more difficult to imitate. These intangible property can transform a virtualized server farm in a strategic firm asset.


Elevated versatility is of training course not the only intangible advantage shipped by server virtualization assignments. Another very critical advantage is increased dependability. On a non-virtualized server the only technologies that you can obtain to improve the dependability of your process is all in all a substantial availability cluster. Regretably these clusters are costly, complicated to retain and in addition to have entire help they total resolution have to be certified by the SW vendor. Evidently that will make these an technique not viable for numerous purposes. For several years we have seen clientele utilizing Microsoft Clusters only for significant purposes like DBMSs and e-mail servers and getting no defense at all for most of the other SW programs. Virtualization would make it achievable a fully various method. Safety can be delivered at the Digital Equipment Check stage relatively than the software degree. This is fairly significantly less desirable mainly because there is no security in scenario of application failure or freezing when the internet hosting functioning procedure is up and working. But on the other hand it is a incredibly very simple to carry out, application-agnostic technologies that will make it probable to increase the dependability of all the servers in the server farm. This is not only significant in case of method failure, but probably even more important for planned outages.

Responsible tests

Exact tests of a SW application (resp. combination of applications) involves the availaibility of a process that is equivalent to the output process on which the software (resp. mix of purposes) will be functioning. As each individual tester knows even small variations could make the exam unreliable. In a non-virtualized server farm tests is pretty costly since you have to have to have for just about every manufacturing program an precise copy of this technique and sophisticated due to the fact you need to continue to keep synchronized the generation and check units. This even extra elaborate for mission critical programs requiring Significant Availability clusters. A dependable exam needs your check process to be on a Higher Availability cluster as nicely which can be prohibitively expensive. With virtualization it is achievable at any time to take a copy of the creation instance and perform precise tests using that duplicate. This paves the way to the generation of virtualized examination server farms which increases not only the reliability of the tests but also the overall exam system efficiency.


Server virtualization jobs can supply considerable fiscal and intangible benefits. Though the former are plenty of to justify the undertaking, and are individuals to which CFOs most often target, intangible benefits are all those that seriously issue for these firms that think of their IT infrastructure not as a commodity but as a strategic useful resource to improve enterprise competitiveness.

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