IT infrastructure_

Virtualisation



 

The dynamics of changes various lines of business are known for, as well as the growing scale of operations involving the use of computer systems confronts IT departments with strict requirements concerning efficient utilisation of the existing resources of IT infrastructure, the ability to quickly adapt them to the emerging business needs, availability of systems and high level of security of data storage and access. It is particularly difficult to meet all those requirements at once while keeping the total cost of ownership low and the return on IT investments high at the same time.

 

The virtualisation technologies that enable meeting all those objectives find applications in various layers of IT infrastructure: LANs, SANs, storage devices and servers.

 

 

Virtualisation has particularly become a standard in storage. At its basic level, it makes it possible for multiple systems to share the resources of a single physical disk array simultaneously. In case of a physical storage device, virtual structures are defined and are selectively allocated to specific systems. Virtualisation of storage area networks, or SANs, is based on its physical switches' capability to define and identify multiple independent virtual SAN structures. Virtualisation of processing platforms was first implemented in mainframe machines. At present, virtualisation is also supported by other processor ranges: RISC, EPIC and x86.

In simple terms, virtualisation at the level of servers boils down to ability to run many different operating systems on a single physical server. However, it is the advanced additional features that bring new quality to data centres.

 

At Matic, we design and implement solutions based on technologies of the following vendors:

  • IBM – LPAR, DLPAR, Advanced Power Virtualization, Workload Partition (WPAR), 

  • VMware – with its entire rich product portfolio, from VMware Server, ESX Server, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure to virtualisation of x86 servers and workstations (INTEL, AMD).


Virtualisation allows preserving business continuity, defined as capability to ensure uninterrupted access to systems, data and services, by minimising system downtimes and mitigating the risk of data loss. The benefits of the available advanced virtualisation technologies include the ability to migrate virtual systems between physical servers without shutting them down, support for server failovers, virtual system snapshots, backup process enhancements and remote replication. While keeping costs low and the solution simple, virtualisation helps to achieve the level of high availability that would otherwise be difficult to reach using the traditional high availability clusters. In addition, virtualisation allows ensuring high availability of the systems and applications not designed for use with HA clusters.


 

Value for Customer:

 

One way to optimise the server component of IT infrastructure is to consolidate numerous heterogeneous operating systems on a small number of powerful servers. That resulting model of infrastructure gives way to a better utilisation of the remaining resources of existing or new servers, helps shorten the time of waiting for server infrastructure to be adapted to the changed business needs and makes it feasible to reduce the costs of ownership of IT infrastructure. Last but not least, it simplifies and enhances server administration.

 

Virtualisation can be a key to a better use of resources, as it allows allocating them where they are needed at any given moment. It enables reducing the upfront cost of hardware purchase and maintenance by giving the option to reduce the number of physical equipment while retaining the same system functionality and performance. It also means a significant improvement of continuity of operation by eliminating the assignment of services to specific physical components of the system.

 

 

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