Hypervisor Economics – Excerpts From An Upcoming Paper – Part 2
by David Merrill on Sep 2, 2011
This post is the second of a three-part series of excerpts from an upcoming paper on Hypervisor Economics (you can find part one here). As always, I look forward to reading your comments and feedback below.
New server and storage ecosystems—and the projections of VM sprawl—will demand better control and measurement systems to provide improvements and justifications for these growth areas. Storage and Hypervisor Economics can be a subjective approach to options that measure and improve these new systems. There is an old saying:
“When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates.”
In this case we are interested in the improvement of unit costs (being reduced) for VM instances. A proven framework including measurements and reports is essential to deliver on cost reduction actions.
Step 1 is to identify the costs associated with Hypervisor TCO. There are as many as 24 different types of costs; some
are CAPEX costs but most are operational. Centering on the purchase price alone may only account for 15-20% of the total cost of a VM, so focusing on the best deals from your vendors will only get you so far with a cost reduction
Step 2 requires a measure of the costs. Taking the costs that you isolate as candidates for your VM TCO will then require that parametric values be applied for the total cost calculation. There
are several cost metrics possible and popular with hypervisors, including:
• Unit cost measurement $/VM/year
• Performance cost measurement $/IO/VM
Other metrics can include the number of VM per square unit of floor space or per rack. Defining the costs and measurements correctly will allow you to find the cost problem areas in your TCO, and that will lead to choosing the appropriate corrective action, or investments to reduce the total cost.
Step 3 is defining the actions to reduce the costs. Identification and measurement of costs allows for prioritization of the costs, and choosing technology, operation changes or business processes that will reduce the costs. There are direct and correlated investments that will reduce certain costs of a virtual machine. While understanding these options are critical, it is more important to know your costs before a rapid set of investments are made to reduce the costs of a VM.
HDS has extrapolated 24 unique types of cost that can be considered for the total cost of a VM, and can be used in VM economic calculations. They are as follows:
1. Hardware depreciation (or lease) expense
2. Software purchase & depreciation
3. Hardware maintenance
4. Software maintenance
5. General admin/ management, labor
6. Migration, remastering
7. Data or workload mobility
8. Power consumption & cooling
10. Data center floor space
11. Provisioning time
12. Cost of growth
13. Cost of scheduled outage
14. Cost of unscheduled outage (machine)
15. Cost of unscheduled outage (people/ process)
16. Cost of disaster risk, business resumption
17. Reduction of hazardous waste
18. Cost of performance
19. Data protection or backup infrastructure
20. Disaster protection infrastructure
21. CIFS, NFS related infrastructure
22. Storage area networking
23. Security, encryption
24. Cost of procurement
Of these 24 VM OPEX and CAPEX costs, there are perhaps 8-10 costs that are used most frequently for VM total cost models. Each IT department is different, and may choose various combinations of costs that reflect their local business environment, operational demands and IT processing needs, including:
1. Server and storage hardware, including memory, network adapter cards and the resulting SAN or LAN infrastructure.
2. Operating systems (hypervisors) and all other software installed on the VM. This cost may or may not include the application or database software costs.
3. Additional licensing costs for hypervisor software advanced features (rapid cloning, dedupe, etc.)
4. All hardware and software maintenance that is charged after the warranty period is over.
5. Labor, administration costs associated with managing the VM and storage infrastructure.
6. Power, cooling, data center floor space.
7. Migration costs (time and effort) related to VM workloads movement.
8. Data protection or DR protection costs, related to redundant server clusters, network connections and staff.
9. Outage risks and costs, whether planned or unplanned.
Look for the third and final post in this series on Tuesday, 9/6 where I will go through the various levers available to IT architects and planners to reduce VM costs. Have a great Labor Day weekend!
[...] in order to compete for limited CAPEX and OPEX dollars. I like this quote from Thomas Monson who said: “When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported [...]