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Building multi-hypervisor environments can be very demanding. Not only do you have two or more hypervisors to build and monitor, but you also have one or more management tools to manage. In order to wrangle all of these platforms into a usable system, you must establish standard policies and procedures. The advantages of building multi-hypervisor environments, however, outweigh the disadvantages.
According to a recent survey by CDW, some 90% of businesses have adopted virtualization at some level. In reality, however, the deployment of virtualization by most organizations has only scratched the surface of its potential. According to recent Gartner research, the overall utilization of data center servers is only 18% – the same as it was four years ago.
With opportunities to reduce costs and enable the deployment of next-generation cloud services, organizations around the world can achieve significant competitive advantages if they are able to overcome barriers and adopt virtualization across a much larger percentage of their infrastructure. Evidence of the benefits of enhanced virtualization can be found in some of the ground-breaking results achieved by companies that have moved along the path of optimized virtualization.
Case Study of Companies Benefitting from Multi-Hypervisor Environments
- 72% decrease in retailer Goal servers, which has 1,755 stores, 300,000 endpoints, and 15,000 virtual machines
- At Schneider Electric, a 66% reduction in servers and licensing costs, along with 88% faster server deployment time
- Harley-Davidson Canada experienced a 40% reduction in servers
- 97% faster deployment time at electronics retailer Crutchfield, with less than five-minute failover
- An 80% decrease in the server footprint and a 30 % rise in the usage of servers at Maxol energy company
- Control time reduction of 30 % and server consolidation of 75 % at Karlstad University
- An 80% improvement in SQL Server performance, 94% faster backup time, and $100,000 annually at Claims Solutions savings in OpEx
These successes are only part of a broader image of how virtualization helps transform IT environments and improve business opportunities. Increased virtualization, as seen in these cases, will not only help companies achieve cost savings but also deliver on the promise of replicable IT services to make the company more agile, efficient, and responsive to client needs. Mindful companies are taking advantages of backup platforms like ESXi backup VM to protect their data.
However, for companies to actually accomplish these advantages, they must address unique challenges, including increasingly heterogeneous data centers; a lack of centralized management tools; organizational and technological silos where it is difficult to create and maintain cross-enterprise applications; and the growing issue of spreading virtual machines (VM) literally and figuratively. Another problem is the lock-in of the provider, which can lead to inefficiencies and missed opportunities to expand virtualization through matching the right hypervisor at the right cost level with the right business need.
Benefits of Building Multi-Hypervisor Environments
The implementation of more than one hypervisor is one way to increase and optimize virtualization. The ability to use and administer multiple hypervisors centrally will pay dividends in reduced licensing costs and more effective enterprise-wide application integration. Although the cost of licensing virtual machines has been an economic obstacle to greater virtualization, the paradigm is shifting since Microsoft has improved and included the features of its Hyper-V hypervisor as part of Windows Server 2008 R2. That means that as their virtualization environment expands, companies can save on acquisition fees and achieve savings because the pricing model of Microsoft does not charge for each virtual machine.
For organizations that use applications based on key Microsoft applications, such as SharePoint, Exchange, and SQL Server, and, in particular, those organizations that use Windows Server 2008 R2, the advantages of adding Hyper-V and installing a multi-hypervisor environment are especially suitable because they do not have to pay incremental licensing fees for Hyper-V.
There are also opportunities to improve the performance and agility of a wide variety of applications, along with the potential for substantial cost advantages in the use of Hyper-V, including in environments where VMware may be prevalent. In addition, by using existing management tools that are familiar to IT practitioners, IT companies can broaden the advantages of server virtualization to branch and remote offices.
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