Virtualisation is often the first stage to making more effective use of your data centre. However, to maximise that efficiency, you need to automate as much as possible and ensure you keep a tight lid on storage costs.
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IDC research director Giorgio Nebuloni (who has been a busy man today) highlighted that argument during a presentation at Data Centre World in London, which I'm attending this week as part of Lifehacker's ongoing World Of Servers coverage. Virtualisation only offered clear benefits when the process of rolling out new VMs was automated, he argued.
Automation can help improve administrator-to-server management ratios. Those ratios rarely topped 1:4 in small businesses or 1:20 in enterprises, but could hit 1:300 in hosting providers or more than 1:1000 in specialist cloud providers such as Amazon, Azure and Google. "They are so much further up the curve they are starting to put pressure on others," Nebuloni said.
Nebuloni also pointed out that while virtualisation was now a mature discipline, simply managing storage technologies remains challenging. "With the data growth rates we see now, storage is still a challenge from a technology perspective."
Lifehacker's World Of Servers sees me travelling to conferences around Australia and around the globe in search of fresh insights into how server and infrastructure deployment is changing in the cloud era. This week, I'm in London for Data Centre World, paying particular attention to how to maximise efficiency and lower costs in the data centre.