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Data Center Strategy for Business Transformation Paper

Data Center Strategy for Business Transformation Paper

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Published by Intel IT
To maximize asset utilization across our data center environment, we continue to apply the same strategies that enable us to meet soaring storage, compute, and network demand with fewer servers and data centers.
To maximize asset utilization across our data center environment, we continue to apply the same strategies that enable us to meet soaring storage, compute, and network demand with fewer servers and data centers.

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Published by: Intel IT on May 26, 2012
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01/17/2013

 
Intel IT’s Data Center Strategy forBusiness Transformation
IT@Intel White Paper
Intel IT
IT Best PracticesData Centers and IT InnovationDecember 2011
We believe our new approachto data center costing andinvestment evaluation willstimulate a bolder approach tocontinuous innovation and willimprove the quality, velocity,and efficiency of Intel IT’sbusiness services, creatinga sustained competitiveadvantage for Intel’s business.
We have realized hundreds of millions ofU.S. dollars in cost savings since 2006 byproactively refreshing our infrastructure,adopting cloud computing, updating ournetwork, pursuing IT sustainability, andconsolidating data centers. In addition,we have supported business growth andcapability improvements by deploying uniquesolutions that benefit Intel’s critical businessfunctions—Design, Office, Manufacturing,Enterprise, and Services (DOMES).Going forward, we have enhanced ourstrategy to include several new elements:
•
Changing our investment decisionmodel, which now compares current datacenter capabilities to a “best achievablemodel.” This model seeks to remove theconventional improvement mindset, whichonly focuses on incremental improvements.Instead, the model will help us transformour capabilities by identifying furthergroundbreaking innovations—like thosealready used to implement our privatecloud and our highly efficient silicon designcomputing grid.
•
Implementing holistic key performanceindicators and associated goals for costper service unit, quality of service, andeffective resource utilization.
•
Using a new unit-costing financial modelthat enables us to benchmark ourselvesand prioritize our investments.We believe our new approach to data centercosting and investment evaluation willstimulate a bolder approach to continuousinnovation and will improve the quality,velocity, and efficiency of Intel IT’s businessservices, creating a sustained competitiveadvantage for Intel’s business.
Shesha Krishnapura
 Senior Principal Engineer, Intel IT
Vipul Lal
Senior Principal Engineer, Intel IT
Raju Nallapa
Principal Engineer, Intel IT
Isaac Priestley
Strategic Financial Analyst, Intel IT
 John Pereira
Director, Data Centers and Hosting, Intel IT
Sanjay Rungta
Senior Principal Engineer, Intel IT
Ananth Sankaranarayanan
Technical Program Manager, Intel IT
Executive Overview
To better meet Intel’s business requirements while providing our internalcustomers with optimal data centers and innovative business services, IntelIT is updating our data center strategy. Building on previous investments andtechniques, our refined strategy will continue to create new business valuewhile improving data center efficiency.
 
 
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IT@Intel White Paper
Intel IT’s Data Center Strategy for Business Transformation
Contents
IT@INTEL
The IT@Intel program connects ITprofessionals around the world with theirpeers inside our organization – sharinglessons learned, methods and strategies.Our goal is simple: Share Intel IT bestpractices that create business value andmake IT a competitive advantage. Visitus today atwww.intel.com/ITor contactyour local Intel representative if you’dlike to learn more.
BACKGROUND
Intel IT operates 90 data centershousing approximately 75,000 serversthat underpin the computing needsof more than 90,000 employees.
1
Tosupport the business needs of Intel’scritical business functions—Design,Office, Manufacturing, Enterprise, andServices (DOMES)—while operating ourworld-class data centers as efficientlyas possible, Intel IT has engaged in amulti-year evolution of our data centerstrategy, as outlined in Figure 1.
In the past, we focused our data centerinvestments on improving IT infrastructureas a means to deliver a foundation for theefficient growth of Intel’s business. Ourprimary goal was cost reduction throughdata center efficiency and infrastructuresimplification while reducing energyconsumption and carbon dioxide footprintto improve IT sustainability.Over the last several years, we havereduced data center energy consumptionand greenhouse gas emissions, while at thesame time meeting constantly increasingdemand for data center resources. We
1
To define “data center,” Intel uses IDC’s data centersize classification: “any room greater than 100 squarefeet, that houses servers and other infrastructurecomponents.”
anticipate these growth rates to continueor even increase further:
•
30 to 45 percent annual growth incompute capacity requirements
•
35 to 40 percent annual growth instorage needs
•
35 to 40 percent annual growth innetwork bandwidth
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To address these challenges without negativelyimpacting service delivery, we developed andcontinue to rely on a number of establishedindustry best practices in all areas of our datacenter investment portfolio—servers, storage,networking, and facility innovation. Since 2006,these techniques, which are described in detaillater in this paper, have enabled us to realizehundreds of millions of U.S. dollars (USD) in costsavings while supporting dramatic growth.
Aligning Data CenterInvestments withBusiness Needs
We have learned that a one-size-fits-allarchitecture is not the best approach for ourunique business functions. After workingclosely with business leaders to understandtheir requirements, we chose to invest invertically integrated architecture solutionsthat meet the specific needs of individualbusiness functions.
2
Internet bandwidth as a representation of overallIntel network traffic.
2011+
Transform BusinessCapabilities
Holistic assessmentand business-specificinnovation• New investment model todrive bolder investmentsKey performance indicatorsto measure progress• Data center unit-costingfinance model
2006-2010
Foundation for
Efficient Growth
Business-focusedinvestments for DOMESProactive server andinfrastructure refresh• Virtualization andenterprise private cloud• Storage optimizationand IT sustainability
2000-2006
Standardization andCost Control
Formed data center teamBegan data centerconsolidation efforts• Completed RISCmigration in Design• Standardized datacenter designs
Pre-2000
• No centralized strategyor ownershipBegan RISC migration• Built data centers tosupport acquisitions• Decentralizedprocurementand management
DOMES:
Design, Office, Manufacturing, Enterprise, and Services
Figure 1. Intel’s data center strategy is a continuous improvement process.
 
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Intel IT’s Data Center Strategy for Business Transformation
IT@Intel White PaperDESIGN
Design engineers run 20 to 30 millioncompute-intensive batch design jobsevery week. Each job can potentially takeseveral hours to complete. In addition,interactive Design applications are sensitiveto high latencies caused by hosting theseapplications on remote servers. We have usedseveral approaches in our Design computingdata centers to provide enough computecapacity and performance to supportrequirements, including high-performancecomputing (HPC), grid computing, clusteredlocal workstation computing, and aspecialized algorithm that increases theperformance of the heaviest Designworkloads.
3
Together, these investmentsenabled Design engineers to run 25 percentmore jobs without adding more computecapacity—which equates to faster design andtime to market.Because Design engineers need to accessDesign data frequently and quickly, wedid not simply choose the least expensivestorage method for this environment. Instead,we have invested in clustered and higherperformance network-attached storage(NAS), along with parallel storage—which ishighly scalable in performance—for our HPCneeds. We use storage area networks (SANs)for specific storage needs such as databases.
MANUFACTURING
IT systems must be available 24/7 in Intel’sManufacturing environment, so we usededicated data centers for factories. We haveinvested heavily over the last few years todevelop a robust business continuity plan
3
Intel uses grid computing for silicon design and tapeoutfunctions. Intel’s compute grid represents thousandsof interconnected compute servers, accessed throughclustering and job scheduling software. Additionally,Intel’s tapeout environment uses a high-performancecomputing (HPC) approach, which optimizes all keycomponents such as servers, storage, network, OS,applications, and monitoring capabilities cohesively foroverall performance, reliability, and throughput benefits.For more information on HPC at Intel, refer to “High-Performance Computing for Silicon Design,” Intel Corp.,November 2009.
that keeps factories running even in thecase of a catastrophic data center failure.These efforts have paid off, and we havenot experienced factory downtime relatedto data center facilities since 2009.In our Manufacturing environment, wepursue a methodical, proven infrastructuredeployment approach to support high reliabilityand rapid implementation. This “copy-exact”approach deploys new solutions in a singlefactory first and, once successfully deployed,we copy that implementation across otherfactory environments. This approach reducesthe time needed to upgrade the infrastructurethat supports new process technologies—thereby accelerating time to market for Intel®products. The copy-exact methodology allowsfor rapid deployment of new platforms andapplications throughout the Manufacturingenvironment, enabling us to meet a 13-weekinfrastructure deployment goal 95 percent ofthe time—compared to less than 50 percentwithout using copy-exact methodology.
OFFICE, ENTERPRISE, AND SERVICES
To improve IT agility and the businessvelocity of our private enterprise cloud,we have implemented an on-demand self-service model, which has reduced the timeto provision servers from three months tothree hours. We more than tripled the numberof virtualized applications inside the Intel ITOffice and Enterprise environments in 2010,from 12 percent to 42 percent. That numberis greater than 60 percent today, and weremain on track to virtualize 75 percent ofthe applications in our Office and Enterpriseenvironments.In contrast to the Design environment, in theOffice, Enterprise, and Services environmentswe rely primarily on SAN storage, with limitedNAS storage for file-based data sharing.
REFINING OUR STRATEGY
As the pace of Intel’s businessaccelerates, we must continuallyrefine our data center strategy todeliver world-class capabilities in acost-effective manner. Our refinedstrategy includes a new investmentmodel that helps us determine whichinvestments will have the greatestbusiness value, key performanceindicators that help us measure thesuccess of our investments, and anew unit-costing model that helpsus better understand the true costof providing IT services to eachbusiness function.
These new elements of our data centerstrategy, along with a continued focus onmeeting business needs, will help build on thesuccess we have already achieved through ourdata center initiatives over the last decade.These successes include significant data centerconsolidation and dramatic IT cost efficiencies.The refined strategy will enable us to supportthe future growth of Intel’s customers, products,and acquisitions, as well as enhance the quality,velocity, and efficiency of the services IT offersto Intel business groups.
Stimulating Bold Innovationthrough a New InvestmentModel
Building on a time-tested methodology thathas proven successful in Intel’s Manufacturingenvironment over multiple process technologygenerations, we adopted a new data centerinvestment decision model that comparescurrent data center capabilities to a “bestachievable model” that guides us to makeinvestments with the highest impact.Previously, Intel data center planning teamslooked at existing capabilities and funding toestablish a plan of record (POR). This plan droveincremental improvements in our existingcapabilities; our goal was to minimize totalcost of ownership (TCO) and deliver positivereturn on investment (ROI).

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