Last week I introduced this topic, the pervasive problem of “comatose” servers in data centers, based upon an interesting recent eWeek article entitled “30 Percent of Servers Worldwide Sit Idle”, which in turn was based upon the research report by Stanford University in conjunction with the Anthesis Group. In my blog, I described the costs of this problem, ranging from the obvious (e.g. power and facilities) to the hidden (e.g. un-used software licenses). This week I’ll discuss why this happens and what you can do about this problem.
In my role in Cisco Services, I’m more interested in the challenges of technology adoption and deployment than I am in speeds and feeds, statistics and technology fads. I actively seek out case studies where technology goes wrong – admittedly most of these examples turn out to be issues around introducing and managing the technology, rather than the technology itself. So I have to admit, I was fascinated by a recent eWeek article (full details below) which discussed the huge proportion – the report uncovers evidence of up to 30%!! – of (physical) servers in enterprise data centers that are typically running doing nothing!! Yes – up to 30% – even in these days of virtualization!
Yes, even in your data center, it’s probably a safe bet to say that you have some servers that are not doing that much information processing today! In this part 1 of my blog, I’ll discuss the costs – obvious and hidden – of the idle server challenge. And next week I’ll discuss why this happens and what you could and indeed should do about it!
With Richard Jacobick
Cisco and CommVault have teamed up on a solution aimed squarely at contemporary data protection challenges. Data is the lifeblood of the enterprise, yet the playbook for how you preserve, protect and provide access to data may have been assembled years ago… and a lot has changed in those years. Consider the transformations around compute, networking, storage virtualization and cloud that have occurred over the last decade.
A data protection policy is similar to auto, home and life insurance because the ultimate goal is to mitigate risk by investing in an instrument that keeps the things you value most protected and safe. What would happen to the business if an unplanned event triggered a loss of data access today because of an outdated plan? There is a very good reason why we review our insurance policies on an annual basis and your data protection policy should go through the same periodic review.
A recent survey conducted by market research firm Vanson Bourne outlines how data loss and downtime has cost enterprises nearly $1.7 trillion over the past 12 months. The lack of a well-defined data protection process and comprehensive Disaster Recovery (DR) plan is most often the root cause in cases where data loss or downtime had a significant financial cost to the business.
I’ve heard it said that CIO’s like their ERP systems the same way they like their cars: big, fast and German. Setting nationalities aside, IT pros craving more horsepower for something like SAP HANA need look no further than our UCS B460 M4 and C460 M4 servers, which now supports Intel’s new Xeon E7v3 processor family.
You may wonder why news like this is this important in an age where hardware is so often taken for granted. The answer is speed, in two flavors:
- Faster Applications
- Fast IT
Organizations across the spectrum are working to become intelligence-driven throughout their operations, in real time, in order to create a perpetual and renewable competitive edge. Taking a long-term view in choosing the right infrastructure accomplish this important. Here are two reasons why:
- You never hear about an analytic environment getting smaller. Massive increases in data volume mean these environments inevitably grow. For many, this will mean continuously expanding clusters of hundreds or thousands of servers for scale-out big data apps and bringing in ever-larger systems for the scale-up, in-memory analytics.
- Data is the lifeblood of the digital enterprise. As the use of big data becomes pervasive and critical to day-to-day decision-making, the performance and predictability of these computing platforms will become increasingly paramount to success. So too will be the speed at which they can be deployed and expanded. You want to choose partners and technology you can trust.
If you follow the news in the world of data center you probably noticed a small announcement from Cisco last week regarding the UCS portfolio…
To net it out in a simple way, I’ve been telling people that the trail of innovation that Cisco has been blazing with UCS just got a lot wider. That’s because this rollout is all about three key vectors that our customers have guided us to expand on:
- Edge-Scale computing: taking UCS to the growing sources of computing demand beyond the core data center and to smaller scale IT organizations with UCS Mini
- Cloud-Scale computing: bringing the automation and simplicity of UCS to the realm of horizontal scale-out applications with Cisco System Link Technology and the revolutionary UCS M-Series Modular Servers
- Core Data Center Workloads: putting icing on the cake with 4th generation 2S rack and blade servers powered by Intel’s new Xeon Processor E5-2600 v3 Family, as well optimizations for Big Data in our UCS Management portfolio.
Here’s a short recap on the event. If you missed it, the replay is available here.
We had a stellar lineup at the event in New York. Our CTO, Padma Warrior, headlined and did a fantastic job setting the context for this wave of innovation in the frame of IoE and Fast IT. Paul Perez followed, explaining the sea change occurring in the application landscape and the customer imperatives guiding development of the UCS platform. Finally, Satinder Sethi stepped us through all the new technology we’ve added to the portfolio. Frank Palumbo hosted the event for us in New York, and I think it’s no coincidence he was rewarded later in the day by a thrilling walk-off win by the Yankees. Note that my last link there is to MLB.com, whose CTO, John Inzerillo, joined our event to share all the cool fan experience technology they’re developing.
I’d like to thank our #CiscoChampions for joining us at the event and bringing their unique and (trust me) unfiltered perspective to the news. Another highlight for me was the opportunity to tour the MLB Advanced Media Center with Matt Eastwood of IDC who joined us in New York to moderate a panel on scale-out computing. Matt, so sorry about the results of the Yankees/Red Sox game…it’s tough to overcome Palumbo-level karma. Having several of our customers and partners at the event really rounded it out, making a special day for everyone that joined us in New York and in the streaming sessions.
To hit on all the details, the team has taken a divide-and-conquer approach here on the blog as well as youtube and our other social media venues. In addition to the links above, here are some of the pieces you can check out to learn more. Scanning the #USCGrandSlam hashtag on Twitter is another good way to take a look at the news and reactions.
- Jim McHugh takes the honors for best blog title in the launch with the news on RedHat and OpenStack
- Cisco UCS M-Series Modular Servers: blog and video
- Cisco UCS Mini: blog and video
- UCS Director Express: blog and video
- Cisco UCS B200 M4 Blade Server video
- Cisco UCS C220 M4 Rack Server video
- Cisco UCS C240 M4 Rack Server video