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IT specialists: efficiency of companies‘ servers could increase by 60%

2009 / 05 / 21

Many companies and institutions have significantly reduced budget of their information technologies’ (IT) departments, therefore business and public sector are forced to seek a way out of a complicated situation. Often lack of funds is the main obstacle which does not even allow to replace worn servers, ensure restoration of critical IT infrastructure, not to mention implementing various innovations. On the other hand, according to IT specialists, many organizations could benefit up to 60% more from its servers by adapting inventive solutions.
“IT infrastructure can be optimized in almost every company, i. e. current IT infrastructure can be redesigned, using existing infrastructure and, for example, virtualization solutions, so that large-scale investments would be unnecessary or become necessary only after a long time”, says Kazimieras Tonkūnas, CEO of IT solutions development joint stock company “Baltic Amadeus infrastruktūros paslaugos” (BAIP).
According to the specialists of global IT consulting company GlassHouse, because of the changed situation in the markets the most marketable IT solutions are the ones that let customers freely choose most suitable technologies. Maximum functionality, system development possibilities and prompt economical effect are also of great importance. It is hard to realize by employing only few most popular technologies of the time. Good example – virtualization solutions, which seem attractive to most organizations, yet are not acceptable or are being deferred because of their price. “If organizations would design virtualization solutions by freely choosing technologies which suit best for the existing IT infrastructure (VMware, Sun Solaris, Microsoft Hyper-V, Xen, Open VZ etc.) in a way that would maximally utilize existing resources, the benefits of such solution would be obvious: IT costs would decrease by 20-50%, existing resources would be freed and utilized to the maximum extent, and the costs of power consumption and physical place would also be reduced: either using own premises, or renting place in a data center”, says Kazimieras Tonkūnas, CEO of BAIP. – “But that’s not all; not only such solution relieves the need to acquire new equipment, it also ensures the operability and availability of existing systems, i. e. system reliability increases”.
“Budget cuts do not necessarily prevent the implementation of new technologies”, agrees Eimantas Šerpenskas, CIO of ISM University of Management and Economics. ”IT investment budget was to be several times smaller than planned at the beginning, but we did not stop implementation of SAP information system. A problem has emerged as SAP implementation requirements and best practices recommend installing testing and working environments in separate servers, so if 4 modules are installed, no less than 8 servers are needed. We needed a largely economical IT infrastructure solution that would not only ensure system functionality at the current moment, but would also be easy expandable in the future”, tells E. Šerpenskas. By utilizing VMware technologies BAIP created several virtual servers in one (HP) server and integrated the server with SAN type data storage using iSCSI protocol, which allows the customer to use existing computer network without acquiring optical equipment. Such infrastructure realizes the potential of existing system to the maximum and it can be easily expanded, if possibilities occur or need arises.
Among numerous other organizations, The State Patent Bureau of the Republic of Lithuania willingly uses virtualization and stores the data of state importance in virtual servers. “We have chosen virtualization solution because of two very simple reasons: first of all, we did not want to appoint funds for updating SUN infrastructure, but the servers were already old enough, so the risk of operation failure in one of the servers was increasing “, said Vincas Batulevičius, IT department manager of SPB. “System availability had to be ensured by all means, so in case of operation failure of at least one of the servers, the duplicating virtual part in another server would overtake its tasks.” BAIP specialists have proposed to migrate operating system Solaris8 to Solaris10. This version has the possibility to virtualize SUN hardware servers. Therefore not only two virtual servers were created in every physical SUN server in order to ensure the continuity and availability of the system, they were also connected with SAN type database by FC protocol (IBM). “We were surprised by the architecture of such solution, because we can safely prolong operation time of the existing servers and manage without new equipment for some time. Most importantly, this solution is about 50%-60% more cost-saving than alternative solutions”, says Vincas Batulevičius, IT department manager of SPB, sharing experience of a successful project.

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