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RESILIENCE REINVENTION

Virtualization and Consolidation of Data Center Helps in Pushing Humanity into the 22nd Century

Virtualization and Consolidation of Data Center Helps in Pushing Humanity into the 22nd Century
The Siliconreview
22 July, 2022

-By Arun Nagpal

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines “Data” as “factual information (such as measurements or statistics) used as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or calculation.”[1] It is hard to understate the significance that the aggregation of data has had in modern society. The unprecedented changes brought in the 19th and 20th centuries from the Industrial Revolution pale in comparison to the age of digitalization and data aggregation brought on in the 21st century. The next evolution in human society will come as a result of greater data aggregation and implementation via improved data centers.

Processing data is a lot like drinking water – no matter how thirsty one may be, the user is limited by the amount of water that an individual can actually drink. Similarly, an organization may want to process all of the world’s data, but that ambition is limited by the amount of digital computing resources available in a server and the operational overhead of running that server.

The cost of server operation (such as a data center) can be incredibly high. The average yearly cost to operate a large data center ranges from $10 million to $25 million.[2] A little less than half is spent on hardware, software, disaster recovery, continuous power supplies and networking.[3] Another large portion goes toward ongoing maintenance of applications and infrastructure.[4] The rest is spent on heating, air conditioning, property and sales tax, and labor costs.[5] The cost of investing in such an endeavor often makes the use of such data centers cost prohibitive for small and medium businesses. The cost of these centers will need to be reduced in order for the next digitalization leap in American society to take place.

Currently, the process of implementation new data centers is limited by existing hardware and software life cycles, which are both inefficient and costly in terms of both under and over utilization of resources. In the distributed computing space, most of servers are underutilized—where the average capacity usage does not cross even 20-percent. While bursty servers can be useful in addressing peak usage needs, structuring servers in this manner does limit its lifespan. Most data center systems used in the industry are provisioned with excess resources only to meet peak usage, even if peak usage is once a year.

Organizations on the frontlines of digital innovation are leading the charge in research and development by investing in consolidated technologies. Research in advanced technologies and use of VLSI (Very Large-Scale Integration) strategies has led to developing systems which no longer take bulky space, such as mainframes or “room-sized” hardware systems. Just as the USB Thumb Drive consolidated the unnecessary space created by previous generational technology, 21st century organizations will need to further invest in VLSI strategies in data center consolidation in order to fully realize the power of hardware efficiency.

Simply put data consolidation matters because it leads both to operational efficiency and increased power. Allocating increased funds towards data consolidation research and development will reduce the cost of computing resources. Consolidated data centers use less energy, require less cooling, require less physical space, and better utilize hardware resources—which in turn bring increased profitability, security, scalability, and overall greater technological effectiveness for any organization.

Ultimately, virtualization and consolidation is the key to maximizing the efficiency of provisioned resources. With virtualization and consolidation the same physical server (which, as discussed supra, are often not utilized beyond 20-percent capacity) can be shared by multiple applications at the same time and lead to optimum utilization.

There are many advantages of this kind of strategy, including, but not limited to: the distribution of system architecture; greater ease for organizational management and administration; provisioning optimal capacity to handle peak load; reduction in financial and environmental costs, and; increase in security and scalability.

Given the vast economic and technological potential presented by growing visualization and consolidation technologies, many major corporate players have begun to develop customized solutions in the industry. Some of the popular technologies in this space include VMware, Oracle Virtual Box, Citrix & Xen, Linux KVM, Solaris Zones and Containers, AIX Lpars and Dpars, Docker Container, and Kubernetes.

The need for new and improving technologies in an ever-changing world has never been more apparent. With growing awareness concerning the need for greater environmental social governance, artificial intelligence platforms, and climate sustainability, the world will need improved technology to tackle these issues going forward. Data virtualization and consolidation will be a key investment in ensuring the adequate resolution of these issues for the best of humanity.

[1] Data, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/data

[2] Data Center Cost, published by Stream data Centers, available at https://www.streamdatacenters.com/glossary/data-center-cost/#:~:text=The%20average%20yearly%20cost%20to,maintenance%20of%20applications%20and%20infrastructure.

[3] Id. 

[4] Id.

[5] Id.