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Doing more with less is the epitome of server consolidation. It's about doing more (or at least the same) processing with fewer, more centralized, physical servers. To achieve the goal of fewer machines, applications need to share servers. This is not an easy task in the single purpose world of Windows server applications running on x86 hardware. Virtualization is a software trick that allows peaceful coexistence of multiple server apps on one box. This research note looks at how virtualization fits into a server consolidation strategy. Discussions include:

  • The importance of a strategy of centralization and consolidation to SMEs.
  • How consolidation reverses the early trend of distributed servers.
  • Why virtual machine enabled application isolation is important to consolidation.
  • How a consolidated and virtualized infrastructure contributes to the strategic goal of utility infrastructure.

The note concludes with a recommended server consolidation strategy that outlines steps that should happen in consolidation before and after virtual machines are introduced into the infrastructure.

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