Transformation of a datacenter should not be left to chance. As datacenters have evolved and expanded, it has become increasingly important to take a different view of projects involving changes to these environments.

These are major undertakings, involving mission critical infrastructure, as such it’s important to think in terms of “Transformation” versus simply “Migration”

Datacenter transformation can take many forms. Changing the landscape of a datacenter is driven by this ever growing need to reduce cost, and increase performance.

Some common examples of datacenter transformations are:

o Hardware migration (moving from old infrastructure on to new higher performance, higher efficiency infrastructure)

o Server Consolidation (leveraging virtualization technology, blade infrastructure, or both to save on physical space, and save on operational costs such as power/heating/cooling)

o Data center relocation or site move (Consolidate datacenter sites, to take advantage of cost savings from centralization, and regional cost savings)

Planning and preparation is often the easiest way to mitigate the risks associated with transformation projects. These projects can be quite complex; only thorough and intelligent planning can ensure a clear path to success, as well as identify any potential pitfalls beforehand.

PlateSpin Recon ensures that customers will not go in “blindly” to these initiatives. The integration of PlateSpin Recon and PlateSpin Protect is a unique market differentiator as the only end to end solution, which in turn not only reduces risk, but reduces cost.

Testing and planning are critical to ensure success.

Testing is often an overlooked aspect of these initiatives. These projects are expected to move at the speed of business, and as such, cutting out testing to reduce downtime is a dangerous decision that is often made. Again, it is important to build transformation projects around solutions that recognize this and integrate testing into the project. With mature features such as “Server Synch” only the PlateSpin solution, recognizes the need for testing as an integral step.

Testing is not only critical from a point in time standpoint, but should also be done at many levels, and stages.

A datacenter is more than the sum of its parts, there can be complex interdependencies, from multi-tier applications to dependencies between these very applications.

The “business level” components of the datacenter really can be looked at from three perspectives:

o individual server workload (the operating system, application, and data stack residing within the server infrastructure)

o application cluster (most applications are in fact multi-tier, running across multiple server workloads)

o full datacenter (dependencies across applications, relied on for business services)

A multi- phase testing approach should be adopted to ensure that everything is running correctly at each of these layers of abstraction. Testing the individual server workload components through to testing of the applications and entire datacenter as a whole, gives a “big picture” view, and will ensure the highest degree of risk reduction.

The only way to confirm a project’s success is through post transformation validation.

Customers can forget that solutions that provide integrated planning and modeling at the front end of projects can be re-used for post completion validation.

Complex projects such as datacenter transformations are rarely completely successful initially. Validation testing and the ability to take an iterative or ongoing approach to datacenter transformation, can assure not only the success of the initial project, but leads to the concept of ongoing optimization. Ensuring not only a one time cost savings, but cost savings and performance improvement perpetually.

Perpetual licensing allows customers to have complete ownership of the technologies to enable the highest degrees of success.

Thorough planning, combined with thorough testing both before and after transformation, ensures a successful project

This approach allows customers look at datacenter transformation from a holistic “big picture” view, and acts as a lead into the concept of ongoing datacenter optimization.

By looking at things from this of abstraction, we are transforming or moving a datacenter, rather than simply moving a number of individual point workloads that make up the datacenter. The PlateSpin perpetual solution not only ensures success with the project at hand, but can be continually leveraged to ensure a fully “Optimized Datacenter” moving forward.

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By: jasondea
Dec 2, 2009
8:14 am