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virtualized-data-centersAndy Patrizio, blogger in Internet News published a very interesting article titled “Virtualized Servers: Less Work or More?” that suggests that the data center of the future might be “at least partially virtualized”,. He however says that the consolidation of hardware “does not mean less work”. According to Mr. Patrizio it is clear that a larger virtual data center infrastructure means also more hardware to be maintained.

One of the warnings sent to businesses during a session, part of IDC Directions ’09 conference was that “virtual servers still means more servers to maintain”.

Virtualized Data Centers To Lower Business Costs?

According to Michelle Bailey, a research vice president of IDC’s data center trends and strategies group, the accent on cutting costs is increasing annually. She told the participants of IDC’s Directions Conference 2009 that 40% of IT managers surveyed her company said that cost savings was their top priority.

During the last few months “virtualization” has become one of the most often pronounced spell in all IT markets and in web hosting industry in particular. Companies like Microsoft, Citrix, VMware, Parallels, and other   virtualization solution producers swear that by using their virtualization products companies can consolidate low-utilization servers, to increase productivity, and to cut costs for hardware and technology in general. However when it comes to full virtualization techniques, many analysts sya that the average number of Virtual Machines (virtual servers) per physical server is only 5-6.

IDC however says that found that even when businesses move from 5 virtual machines per server to 8, a new 100 million new physical servers still have to be deployed by 2012.

Automation Is A Key To Success

In his opening keynote at Parallels Summit 2009, Serguei Bellousov, the virtualization provider CEO said that automation is one of the most important processes which has to be implemented as much as as possible from any IT company.

IDC says that by 2012 the number of enterprise data centers is going to shrink from 77% to 65% of the total number of data centers. Virtualization technologies and the shift to outsourcing are key factors are pushing for this change.

IDC’s research papers say that the number data centers in which enterprise computing jobs are hosted and outsourced by companies, will grow from 9% to 16%. The smaller data centers that serve local markets and companies, will also grow from 14% to 19% in 2012.

The analysts suggest that companies that build and maintain data centers need to rethink and redesign the concept of running the IT storage facilities. Adding excess capacity should not be the main objective of the data center owners needs.  IDC says that “instead of building a 100,000 square-foot data center and using just 5,000 square feet, build it as a 5,000 square foot modular design, and add on capacity in small, repeatable increments”.

windows-server-hyper-vMicrosoft presented Windows Server 2008 with its Hyper-V hypervisor and Microsoft System Center. The world’s leading producer of PC software has outlined its initiatives for the hosting industry on its Microsoft Hosting Summit. The company claims to help web hosting providers to leverage virtualization and to lower their business costs.

One of the key products in Microsoft’s strategy to persuade web hosting providers to use its virtualization technology and its new Windows server is “Dynamic Data Center Toolkit”, which allows for the building and launching of managed services powered by Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center.

The Microsoft Toolkit holds guidance, sample code, best practices and collateral, that according to Microsoft  help web hosting companies to deploy managed hosting services. The Toolkit also offers step-by-step instructions for building a virtualized, scalable infrastructure.

Microsoft also offers a marketing guidance, that should help  web hosting providers to sell managed hosting services.