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April 2009, Vol. 9

How to optimize VM placement in data centers

Today, more organizations are moving server virtualization technologies into production. It makes sense, especially during these tough economic times, because server virtualization promises vast savings in server hardware, rack space, power consumption and cooling. But in order to move to server virtualization, many organizations have discovered that they must acquire new physical server technologies. That's because the latest hypervisors rely on x64 hardware with hardware-assisted virtualization baked into the server processor. In a way, this new hardware acquisition also makes sense because it comes with reduced power consumption and reduced cooling requirements, which supports the effort to reduce ongoing costs in data centers. The problem is that too many organizations are content with the default 10:1 ratio they obtain through physical server consolidation. Yet you can increase this ratio further and reduce the number of required host servers by focusing on the process of virtual machine (VM) placement on host servers. To ...

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