Let's face it. Rarely do you get a blank check when it comes to your IT budget. Yet data is growing at an alarming rate, and more applications and services are being added than removed. At the same time, you are expected to keep doing what you have been doing with a constantly shrinking budget. Or you are asked to do more with the same or fewer resources. Today's challenging economy is only compounding the issue and making it nearly impossible for you to meet business needs without exceeding IT resources. More often, you are looking to virtualisation as a tool to help control costs.
Virtualisation of data center infrastructure has done a lot to change the economics of IT forever, providing a path forward for CIOs being asked to do more with less. Often misperceived to be synonymous with consolidation, virtualisation offers so much more than consolidation and cost savings alone. It enables you to evolve your IT environment toward a dynamic data center that is capable of quickly responding to changing business needs.
Server virtualisation is just the first step to dramatically improving your competitive advantage with a more dynamic data center. The best way to make sure that you get the full effect of your virtualisation efforts is to virtualise the whole stack: servers, desktops, network, and storage. Integrating storage as part of your overall virtualisation plan can help you establish an IT environment that is able to quickly and easily scale to accommodate data growth without degrading performance or exceeding financial resources.
"Our industry is growing by leaps and bounds.… What we anticipate after adding the economic stimulus package to the mix is a slingshot effect in terms of our accelerated growth. With our dependable, centralized, and efficient NetApp® storage solution, we have more control over and can better protect our intellectual property, and we are better prepared to meet the onslaught of demand for renewable energy."
—Darin Zimmerman, IT manager, RMT, Inc.
Our strategy is to maximize the value of your virtualised environments. We continually innovate to deliver a single unified storage architecture that seamlessly integrates with virtualisation management products. Together with Cisco, Citrix, Microsoft, Oracle, and VMware, we develop award-winning solutions and technology partnerships. Time after time, our virtualisation solutions deliver higher and more consistent service levels at a lower cost.
"We've successfully eliminated server sprawl and dramatically improved efficiency.… We currently run at a virtual-to-physical-server ratio of 60:1. On the storage side, NetApp technology has eliminated many of the capacity inefficiencies and management, space, and power costs we incurred in the previous infrastructure."
—Phil Nail, founder and chief technology officer, AISO.
"We truly believe that IT can be delivered better, and we always work to improve upon our past challenges.… Tier 3's mantra is virtualise, optimise, and above all simplify. With NetApp systems, NetApp MultiStore®, and VMware, we have transformed our data centers into shared, yet secure clouds of server, network, and storage resources."
—Jared Wray, principal of Tier 3.
Recent hypervisor advancements such as significantly larger memory and I/O capabilities provide enhanced performance and scalability that enable IT departments to consider a much broader set of applications as candidates for virtualisation. Increasingly, our customers are virtualising business-critical applications such as Exchange, mission-critical databases (in addition to development and test databases), SharePoint®, and SAP® or other ERP applications. Virtualising this higher tier of IT infrastructure puts even more demand on your storage, particularly in terms of reliability and availability. Backup solutions, continuous operations, performance, and manageability all become more crucial and require no-compromise solutions for these business-critical applications.
Dynamic IT infrastructure is more achievable than ever before with today's advanced tools. Some of the advanced management and virtualisation capabilities that sit above the hypervisors include resource distribution, power conservation, and fault tolerance. NetApp has built complementary capabilities into its storage solutions such as:
High availability for storage
Data mobility for nondisruptive maintenance or distribution of load
High quality of service across different virtual machines (VMs) in the same storage infrastructure
- Simplified maintenance and technology updates
- Load-balancing and fault tolerance
- Robust business continuance (BC) and complete disaster recovery (DR)
"The NetApp virtualisation solution for storage ideally complements the VMware® environment, giving us the same kind of efficiencies and adaptability in our storage as VMware delivers on the server side."
—Phil Nail, founder and chief technology officer, AISO.
"With NetApp MultiStore, our customers can have their own private storage island provisioned in about an hour with all the features of an individual, dedicated SAN: DR, scalability, and more.... When we tell clients that we will give them their own virtual SAN, one that works just the same, is just as fast, and you get all the NetApp features to boot, they love it. It's a competitive advantage for us and them."
—Jared Wray, principal of Tier 3.
"As a systems engineer, I believe we could virtualise just about anything with Microsoft Hyper-V. When I think of Hyper-V and NetApp, I know NetApp storage provides the performance required to access my disks very fast so my hosts run well. I also love the flexibility we get with NetApp. The performance is there."
—Andy Schneider, Senior Systems Engineer, Avanade.
But we don't stop there. Our goal is to increase the capabilities of the IT infrastructure to deliver an advantage to the business while maintaining simplicity and helping you to lower costs and improve agility.
This is where integration is paramount. Integrating storage functionality directly with the way that server virtualisation is presented within Citrix XenCenter, Microsoft® System Center, and VMware vCenter provides a seamless approach that helps accelerate the pace of IT:
- VMs can be backed up or restored in seconds.
- Storage can be quickly and efficiently provisioned exactly when VMs are provisioned with Citrix, for example.
- DR and DR testing can be automated with VMware, for example.
All this can be accomplished from within the tools that your virtual server teams are already using, so those teams can control storage-related workflows from a familiar environment.
"We have achieved our goal for the storage system to manage all critical data, providing more security and allowing scalability in the future."
—Francesc Cartaña Bachs, in charge of Mutua de Propietarios Systems and Communications.
"I found that I can do most of the administrative work on my NetApp storage arrays, such as cloning, provisioning, and creating Snapshot™ copies, through XenCenter. For example, when I want to create a new virtual server, I clone a running server using the NetApp rapid cloning feature directly from XenCenter with no need to perform commands directly on NetApp."
—Nadav Gebert, head of IT, E-Drive Technology.
"Moving to the VMware on NetApp environment will allow us to deliver near real-time business resumption service to our customers. Whether it's empowering remote employees with virtual desktops, delivering the processing services clients need to support mobile banking, or providing complete IT services via a private cloud, we have the technology in place to be agile, innovative, and competitive."
—John Jones, CEO, DCI.
But let's not forget the important starting point for undertaking virtualisation in the first place: cost savings. Without streamlining and virtualising your storage infrastructure and improving efficiency, any savings from your server virtualisation will be eroded by increased storage costs. NetApp can help to reduce your storage requirements in virtualised environments by 50% compared to traditional approaches.
A long history of efficiency innovations at NetApp means that a whole range of storage efficiency functionality is baked into our products and solutions. Rich efficiency capabilities—for example, deduplication in primary and secondary environments, thin provisioning, and near-zero-capacity virtual clones, to name just a few—really shine in virtualised environments. Used individually or together, the multiple efficiency features we build into our products and solutions help you boost utilization of existing storage, NetApp or otherwise, and result in dramatic savings of power, cooling, and space. (Since fully deploying its virtual infrastructure, AISO has seen a 70% decrease in energy usage.)
By leveraging NetApp's unified architecture, you can take advantage of all of our virtualisation features and seamless integration throughout your storage infrastructure, thereby standardizing deployments and reducing training costs. Our storage virtualisation solution means you can get the same agility and efficiency functionality on your third-party storage. Studies show that the overall savings in acquisition costs, operational costs, and recovery costs in virtualised environments like VMware can exceed 50%.
So, if you're ready to explore the broader opportunities for virtualisation in your IT infrastructure, we can help.
NetApp Infrastructure solutions provide cost effective storage and data management for the dynamic enterprise including data, database, desktop and server virtualisation.
NetApp Virtualisation Guarantee* Program: Show us how much data you need to store in your virtual environment. We guarantee that you will use 50% less storage with NetApp® compared to a baseline of traditional storage. You'll enjoy better protection and more flexibility, and you'll use less storage.