DELL POWER SOLUTIONS
| September 2009
Dell Power Solutions,
September 2009. Copyright © 2009 Dell Inc. All rights reserved.
ust about everything your organization doesthese days generates a data trail. Multiply mil-lions of interactions times daily or weeklybackups times years of history and—well, you getthe picture. Your data is never going to shrink. Infact, chances are that you’ll be managing hundredsof terabytes within just a few years. And as yourvolume of information grows, the computing powerrequired by the systems leveraging that informationwill likely expand as well.Scaling your data center to handle increasinglyintensive computing requirements is no mean feat. Ifyou wait until your servers and storage systems arebursting at the seams, the chances of ad hoc expan-sion and unnecessary infrastructure complexity arehigh. But by thinking ahead, you can lay the founda-tion to scale with ease.
Understanding the environment
A variety of strategies can help manage thedata growth headed your way. Two strategiesin particular—cloud computing and in-housevirtualization—can provide a one-two punch thathelps you simultaneously lighten your computingworkload and pack more processing power intoyour existing data center footprint.Cloud computing allows enterprises to extendthe power of their data centers by providing accessto computing infrastructure and application plat-forms as a service over the Internet. But while theterm
is relatively new, the tech-nologies behind it are not.Way back when, in the middle of the twentiethcentury, organizations that could not fit all theirwork onto a single mainframe began networkingservers together to form clusters; clustering tech-niques that have been refined over the years nowform the basis for cloud computing. Large clusterslike the ones offered by cloud computing providerscan offer virtually unlimited scalability—so whetheryour workload sees steady growth or the occasionalspike in demand, the cloud can keep up. Alternatively,large enterprises may establish an internal comput-ing cloud when that approach is suitable to specificorganizational requirements.Virtualization is also a major enabler of the cloud.Because it allows providers to partition large serversinto many smaller virtual servers that have beenrightsized for their assigned tasks, virtualization isthe key to the flexibility and cost advantages ofcloud computing.The delivery of software as a service (SaaS) formsthe third critical technological component of thecloud computing model. Because both hardwareresources and business software platforms are avail-able from cloud providers, you may be able to out-source large portions of your organization’s workloadto the cloud—which could potentially allow you toreclaim significant data center space or redeploy yourin-house infrastructure to handle different tasks.The final critical component of cloud computingis not a technology at all—it’s a payment model.Processing power and other resources are allocateddynamically according to the demands of your work-load, then billed like a utility. The utility paymentmodel can be a game-changer in two ways. First, youpay only for the resources you actually use. Insteadof funding servers that sit idle in your data centermost of the time, cloud computing helps ensure thatyour IT dollars go toward getting actual work done.Second, the utility model means that computingspeed can scale up too. You are not limited toresources that you’ve purchased and installed in yourdata center—so you can run large jobs in parallel on
Forecast:cloudy With a chanceoF Virtualization
Is cloud computing or in-house virtualization theanswer to your scalability challenges? Maybe both.