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November 2010, Vol. 28

Server consolidation strategy pitfalls: Over-consolidation

If you’ve already worked with server virtualization, chances are that you understand the importance of a server consolidation strategy. It’s probably the single most important consideration in a virtual data center. Simply stated, server consolidation increases the use of available computing resources and allows more virtual machines (VMs) to operate simultaneously on a physical host system. But there are practical limitations to a server consolidation strategy—even with today’s most powerful and virtualization-friendly servers. Too much server consolidation is not a good thing, and administrators need to consider the serious implications of excess consolidation in their data center. Its role has become so ubiquitous that it’s easy to forget why we need a server consolidation strategy in the first place: Consolidation saves money. Consider traditional nonvirtualized environments where one application operates on one server. The server rarely uses more than 10% of its total computing resources for the application, and each new ...

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