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April 2012, Vol. 38

The data center’s hidden cost

Business units and application owners have long regarded power as free of cost—much in the same way that it’s easy to regard disk space, memory and CPU as “free.” But power consumption is a silent cost in the heart of the data center, and power costs may hide in several areas of a facility. Power is constantly running, and owned by corporate IT, not by the business users that consume it. And many now think that power costs need to be included in the brand-new set of chargeback formulas that are currently circulating. Server virtualization has allowed many businesses to do more with less, or to grow their business without having to also grow their physical server footprint. In part the drive toward server consolidation was intended to reduce power and cooling costs—but some efficiencies have yet to be fully exploited. Many virtualization platforms, like VMware’s High Availability and Distributed Resource Scheduler technologies, support hypervisor clustering for availability and performance. However, anecdotally I’ve heard that ...

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