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Reliance on virtualization making capacity planning critical

By Max Burkhalter
May 17, 2012
Capacity planning has almost always played an essential role in the data center, as businesses have had to carefully gauge how much data is on servers and being sent through the network. Ensuring that there is enough hardware to support data is a key function, and one that has become much more complicated in light of virtualization, TechTarget reported.

In an interview with the news source, industry expert David Davis explained that virtualization's ability to split physical servers into multiple parts makes it much more difficult to deal with strategic capacity planning functions. Davis said that the traditional 1-to-1 ratio of application to server systems is now rising to 20-to-1 or even higher. As a result, businesses often find it much more difficult to evaluate how much capacity their servers and network systems can handle without dealing with significant performance issues.

Essentially, using virtual server infrastructure creates an environment in which applications can get in each other's way trying to operate on a server and push data out to the network, Davis told TechTarget. This can lead to significant performance disruptions and makes capacity planning tools necessary to support ongoing operations. The right planning tools can play a vital role in keeping servers and network systems running efficiently.

"Capacity planning tools can anticipate the needs (current and future) of the applications running in virtual machines," Davis told TechTarget. "They can make recommendations on how capacity should be balanced or increased. While very few tools will modify the virtual infrastructure, in the future, some tools will be able to initiate changes to resources in the virtual infrastructure or cloud - for example, provision a new VM in the public cloud to add capacity when needed."

As companies deal with the capacity planning challenges posed by virtual infrastructure, they may want to re-evaluate how they go about managing servers. The need to manage more complex server environments could mean more trips to and from remote data centers for IT, adding another layer of challenges and costs to capacity planning. However, console server infrastructure can overcome this by giving the IT control over remote devices through a central platform, allowing IT to avoid trips to various data centers within the network. This not only makes it easier to manage devices across a company's data center footprint, it also cuts costs and allows for improved environmental efficiency throughout operations.

Perle’s wide range of 1 to 48 port Perle Console Servers provide data center managers and network administrators with secure remote management of any device with a serial console port. Plus, they are the only truly fault tolerant Console Servers on the market with the advanced security functionality needed to easily perform secure remote data center management and out-of-band management of IT assets from anywhere in the world.


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