From basic email to transaction-intensive

financial processing applications, today’s business applications—the lifeblood of the modern enterprise—move fluidly across an increasingly virtualized IT infrastructure. With virtualization, application workloads no longer need designated hardware or pre-allocated compute capacity, enabling enterprises to build a far more agile, efficient and flexible infrastructure than ever before possible. Virtualization, especially when it accompanies a move to common platforms, open tools and a unified fabric, delivers a newfound simplicity for IT organizations. For one, virtualization gives enterprise IT the ability to consolidate the number of physical servers by an industry estimate of approximately 20-to-1. This, in turn, reduces capital and operational expenses while improving resiliency. Standardize, simplify—by maximizing the virtualization deployment—and automate: Such is the basis of the next-generation, efficient data center. The next-generation data center will be characterized not only by its high level of virtualization, use of standardized, open platforms, and converged fabric, but also by its ability to support consolidated workloads, automated tiered storage and infrastructure deployment, and self-service management. Virtualization also is proving a boon in the desktop environment. By hosting virtual desktops in the data center, enterprise IT eases one of its biggest pain points (desktop management) while enhancing security and compliance and improving end-user

Virtualization brings more than efficiency, simplicity and flexibility to the enterprise. Getting the most value requires knowing how to coordinate change and managing the infrastructure.

Virtualization Value: Managing Change and the Infrastructure
productivity. The result is a more efficient workforce, with employees able to access data quickly and complete tasks regardless of where they’re located. But as any enterprise that has interwoven virtualization throughout its server, storage and network production environments knows, getting the full value out of the virtual data center isn’t easy. The deeper enterprises go with their virtualization investments, the more stymied they can become in how to meet the ultimate efficiency goal, which is to create such a simplified and automated infrastructure that IT no longer must sink its time into operational tasks—instead IT can focus on the business innovations that will boost a company’s competitive posture and otherwise ensure longevity in a volatile global marketplace. However, virtualization engenders such ease in creating virtual machines and making workloads movable that IT organizations quickly run into complications coordinating change and managing the infrastructure.

White Paper: Virtualization Value: Managing Change and the Infrastructure

which itself simplifies the IT infrastructure. performance and ease of administration. but then takes several weeks to complete all the associated integrations needed to connect it to the rest of the environment. software and management tools to work as one dynamically configurable entity that is open and pragmatic. Turner says. “The majority of this group expects increases on the order of 10% to 50% annually. virtualized data centers of today and the private enterprise clouds of tomorrow. integrated system approaches to solving the virtualization dilemma. is in need of a more simplified. for enabling rapid resource deployment. 1 Source: IDC. What’s needed in support of the increasingly dynamic. Consider this statistic: 77% of IT managers tell IDC that they expect the number of annual configuration changes in their environments to grow at double-digit rates given the increased use of virtualization in production IT environments. Yet.” she adds.“It doesn’t take long before these organizations reach a tipping point where the logistics of manually configuring servers. monitoring and time to repair. automated management approach. are “automated provisioning and change management workflows that can reach across tightly interdependent technology platforms. optimized operations and planning. bestof-breed. Its approach comprises VIS Infrastructure. but also to reduce human error by ensuring that predefined workload configuration requirements are implemented as required on a consistent basis. helping enterprises reduce complexity. “These types of relatively static processes and technology-specific tools were never designed to accommodate near-instant workload migrations and ongoing dynamic resource pooling and system reconfigurations. you know you have a problem.” March 2010 White Paper: Virtualization Value: Managing Change and the Infrastructure 2 . Dell Integration Suites allow integration of the most common infrastructure activities into the virtual machine manager. research director for system management software at IDC. n Drive consistency in deployment. “When it takes five minutes to spin up a virtual server. aren’t adequate for the amorphous virtual data center of today. In addition.” 1 So virtualization. The Dell VIS brings together an end-to-end solution of state-of-the-art servers. storage.” says Mary Johnston Turner. that is the goal for highly virtualized data centers and for organizations contemplating the development of private cloud environments. Dell offers an architecture that will compress the amount of time between customers receiving The Dell VISion Dell intends to answer that need. In a May 2010 report. With VIS. designed for a static world in which infrastructure change approvals come slowly. . . n Ease support. Turner says. with its new Virtual Integrated System (VIS). unlock the value of their virtualization infrastructures. and VIS Delivery Center. storage and network connections every time a new workload is deployed or moved begins to get in the way of the business. “Strategies for Conquering Datacenter Management Challenges Caused by Virtualization and Cloud Computing.” Turner says. n Create an easier path to the internal cloud. Dell offers an alternative to the closed nature of competitors’ proprietary and vertically integrated stacks. They help not only to speed routine reconfigurations and workload migrations. networking. With VIS. Traditional discipline-centric management tools. in a recent interview conducted on the behalf of Dell customers.” Forrester highlighted four primary benefits of such systems: n Let enterprises take the next step with virtualization. The result: rapid deployment and responsive infrastructure that help enterprises respond to the changing needs of customers and employees. for accelerating delivery of strategic IT services with groundbreaking new capabilities. Forrester Research gave a nod to such prepackaged. . and usher in the efficient data center.

storage must be tiered and built for virtualization. Or. and support a mix of hypervisor types (VMware. n Dynamic resource allocation. “If you wanted to book a trip to Paris. Clifton says. and physical systems. helping organizations manage infrastructure failures without service disruption. Hyper-V and Xen). VIS Delivery Center This VIS component is all about workload optimization—that selfservice enablement so critical to enterprises building private clouds and tapping into public cloud services. n Auto-discovery and provisioning in minutes. Servers need to be purpose-built and highly intelligent. storage and networking resource pool. manage virtual and physical environments simultaneously. If an enterprise already is using Citrix Systems’ XenCenter. “We’ll be making it easier for business users to pull together resources and for IT to manage and maintain those resources and to really grow in a more manageable way. This doesn’t mean starting from scratch. Microsoft’s System Center Virtual Machine Manager or VMware’s VMware vSphere virtualization management tools. VIS Delivery Center comprises two pieces: VIS Self-Service Creator and VIS Director. VIS includes the ability to automate deployment and management. in other words. Let’s take a deeper look. for example—while integrating it into the broader platform for managing the server.” says Mark Clifton. enables enterprises to rationalize their use of virtualization—pushing well beyond the 30% virtualized mark many are stuck at as they grapple with complexity and all its ensuing challenges.hardware in a box to having it racked and ready to use and. for example. the Dell VIS allows the integration between virtualization managers and AIM. AIM simplifies data center management by enabling a single administrator to dynamically allocate or repurpose compute. it should not have to toss them out in favor of the software offered as part of an integrated stack. network devices should support 10 Gb Ethernet and be capable of leveraging existing infrastructure. 10 GB of memory. storage and networking must be manageable as a single resource pool. As the name implies. In VIS. Under VIS. Integration Suites get enterprises halfway along that spectrum of hardware-in-a-box to business impact. for which a two-socket server running Windows. storage and network resources for physical and virtual application workloads—no physical server. Clifton suggests. plays heavily in the optimization story. too. Automation. VIS Self-Service Creator essentially enables checks and balances. such capability is made possible through Dell Advanced Infrastructure Manager (AIM). If you tried to book a first-class flight less White Paper: Virtualization Value: Managing Change and the Infrastructure 3 . AIM makes it possible for IT infrastructure to respond intelligently and flexibly to shifting demands. In turn comes the ability to match budget requirements to monetized workloads and standardize IT group projects. Starting with the principle that servers. including the migration of physical to virtual and vice versa. the idea that enterprises should be able to leverage what they’ve already got in place—even if it’s non-Dell—comes into play at the management layer. low-cost departmental storage and 1 GB of memory suffices. Toward that end. storage with the highest levels of performance and availability. The solution has built-in high availability. plus disaster recovery. enterprise strategist at Dell. you can do it through the travel tool with certain approvals. VIS Infrastructure The VIS vision begins with the notion that achieving efficiency in the data center and throughout the enterprise starts with optimized. Built using open architecture technology from Dell acquisition Scalent Technology. application developers might get a four-socket server running Linux. Hyper-V. naturally. Dell Integration Suites In VIS. Xen virtual machines. enterprises would be able to build off the existing infrastructure (including non-Dell). ultimately. Enterprises. AIM enables these functionalities: n Management of heterogeneous virtual and physical systems. for a large workload. And implementation costs can be dramatically reduced. Think about this in terms of a corporate travel planning tool. plus auto-failover redeployment. can leverage the tool they most use for managing their virtualization environment—deploying operating systems or inventorying and reporting on assets. an enterprise IT would use VIS Self-Service Creator to create a self-service catalog for application developers. n Rapid and repeatable deployment of VMware. in turn. to realizing business impact. The virtual infrastructure is all racked up and ready to go. cable or storage area network changes are required. This. Combined with the VIS Infrastructure component. It might specify a small workload. It moves workloads and applications seamlessly and automatically among devices in response to user demand— the IT team manages policies instead of complex hardware devices. open infrastructure. In essence.

n Evaluate and demo Dell AIM. n Engage in a whiteboarding session on Dell Integration Suites. Here are some recommendations for how to get started: n Sign-up for a Dell Efficient Architecture Workshop to better understand VIS Infrastructure. VIS. enterprises can implement single sign-on and authenticate users against their Microsoft Active Directory database. quickly enables enterprises to move from one end of the deployment spectrum to the other—but at their own pace. “You could have a hot spare instead of a standby server specifically waiting for Exchange Server to crash.” Clifton says. “You can quickly take one of the spare servers. set by their own resources and needs. Integrated infrastructure solutions such as the Dell VIS are a step in the right direction for enterprises. and stand all the virtual machines back on it—everything starts working in concert. Clifton says. The piece parts include: n M1000e PowerEdgeBlade Chassis n 8 M910 PowerEdge Blade Servers n 10 R810 PowerEdge Rack Servers n 1 Dell EqualLogic PS6000 Series iSCSI SAN n PowerConnect 10 Gb Switches n Advanced Infrastructure Manager Software n VIS Self-Service Creator Software n VIS Director Software n Integration Suites for VMware. There’s still plenty of work to be done toward this end. What’s more.” he White Paper: Virtualization Value: Managing Change and the Infrastructure 4 . and then provisions virtual machines and application workloads on it as needed. over time. n Leverage Dell Services’ offerings to evaluate your virtualization strategy. Dell VIS will enable enterprises to realize the efficient data center—but it is a journey. which introduces governance and predictive management into the VIS architecture. Enterprises have no reason to wait any longer. comes from the ability to architect “processes and solutions that enable the business to grow faster. That request pushes one of the servers over a predetermined threshold. and load the databases again. according to Forrester. If one of them fails. “You don’t have to create a whole bunch of user databases or infrastructure pieces to get into this. such a process happens in piecemeal fashion. simple request. go to: www. perhaps pushing the server beyond 70% utilization or a designated number of virtual machines per host. that’s going to require some additional approvals as it will be outside the boundary of what IT deems as a normal. if a user asks for a four-processor virtual machine with 16 gigabytes of memory. therefore. for example. load down VMware. Don’t consider them a threat. And with the integrated view through AIM. If you want to book a 10 o’clock flight that costs $200 more than an 8 o’clock flight.than two weeks out. Great value. more cheaply. With the threshold exceeded. “With the ability to quickly provision. Microsoft and Citrix n Implementation Services DFor more information. stand up the server.” Clifton says. With VIS. But by tying it all together. that we’re pulling together and.” Likewise. n Engage Dell for discussions and demonstrations of the VIS Delivery Platform. you can just keep a profile of your different servers in your infrastructure managed through AIM. … Take advantage of this standardization of technology components and spend your time innovating business technology solutions instead of troubleshooting technology components. you’re going to have to write in and justify why. if a business user asks for two virtual machines for running an application or something like Microsoft SharePoint server.” he says. Clifton describes how these capabilities would play out in an enterprise data center: “A user requests a virtual machine. and more flexibly. Dell can bring as little or as much help as an enterprise desires along the way. downloads the hypervisor on top of that host. or” Clifton says. you’ll get a bunch of red flags and another set of approval requirements. should a VMware server go down. Finessing workload requisitioning and orchestrating the provisioning will in turn ensure that the infrastructure is optimized to the business. tightly coupling.” The Dell Virtual Integrated System “Think of VIS as a suite of components. The travel tool drives user behavior to conform with corporate policy. brings it into the server cluster and shared storage. “VIS will pull it all together and make it seamless—that’s the high-level value.” he says. you simply load down the profile. Today. VIS Director enables enterprises to rethink how they approach disaster recovery. the firm advises. “However. Things get really interesting with VIS Director. storage administrators get a view into the storage side of this while server admins see the server piece. VIS automatically provisions a new physical server. Dell’s enterprise strategist.” he describes. Getting Started Make no mistake. Forrester Research concluded in its May report.” describes Mark Clifton. the approvals should be fairly straightforward.