It’s a typical scenario. You’ve got 2 servers with storage loaded to 20% capacity, and a third server with disks nearly full. In order to remedy the situation, you take money out of your budget and spend it on new hard drives. This way of managing storage is wasteful and unnecessary.
Why not just take the unused storage space from the other 2 servers and move it over to the overloaded machine? Of course, this can be difficult and complicated when we’re talking about physical boxes. But virtualization makes this fast and easy.
Although it’s true that the average cost of storage is steadily decreasing, the amount of data that we need to store is also growing at a much faster pace. Why spend money when you have perfectly good excess storage space available?
When you waste money in this way, you aren’t just losing out on hardware costs. You also need to consider the maintenance, energy and real-estate costs that come from having more equipment hardware than you need.
The average single-purpose server today might only use up about 30%-40% of its total storage capacity. But when you place multiple virtual servers onto a single host device, you can easily raise this efficiency to 70% or 80%.
And if one of your servers needs more storage, there’s no need to buy new hardware or dismantle any equipment. You can simply reassign the necessary storage through the administration console. This process is much faster and cost-effective than manually installing new hardware.
And because you’re hosting fewer boxes, you take up less space in your datacenter while saving on power and cooling costs.
Another added bonus of consolidating your storage through virtualization is that this new, simpler storage structure will simplify regular maintenance and reduce unnecessary downtime. The processes associated with disk replication, server migration and data backup are much easier when working with a single consolidated system instead of several individual boxes.
If your company is struggling to keep data storage costs under control, you may want to consider storage consolidation as a way of making better use of under-utilized disk-space and reducing the need for hardware upgrades.