Component No. 5: Charging
Having the data on what resource consumption actually costs departments enables IT to gain cost visibility and properly allocate the resources required to service each business unit. This is important in further planning the virtual infrastructure, as IT can make more informed decisions on additional purchases and upgrades to help optimize the infrastructure. IT also now has the fiscal information to present to corporate finance to justify these decisions and move virtualization projects forward.
The ultimate goal is to lower and/or control costs with intelligent planning to drive a quicker time to ROI. Success of a virtualization project will be based on that time to ROI, and a balance between cost and performance. With a chargeback process in place, departments will learn that there is a cost associated with adding virtual machines.
This should also help address the virtual machine sprawl "epidemic" that is spreading like wildfire, causing resource constraints and impacting performance. While virtual machines aren't free, inter-organizational departments will see significant cost and time savings benefits from virtualized environments over deploying more physical servers.
The PAL is designed to eliminate performance and financial risks to provide a level of confidence necessary to take the data center from 15 to 20 percent virtualized to 70 to 100 percent virtualized. Without critical data that can prove that performance levels are consistently met, organizations will not feel comfortable virtualizing servers that are critical to their business success, or making additional costly investments in virtual infrastructure (servers, storage, etc.).
By following the five steps of the PAL, IT staffs can gain 20 to 30 percent performance and utilization efficiencies, and will have the confidence to make every virtualization project successful based on performance and cost criteria.
Alex Bakman is founder and CEO of VKernel. Alex is a recognized expert in computer security, virtualization and systems management. He holds many United States and international patents, and is a frequent speaker at industry events. A serial entrepreneur and visionary, Alex founded Ecora Software (acquired by Versata Enterprises) and CleverSoft, a software company acquired by Candle Corporation. Alex can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.