How to Handle License Audits in a Virtualized Data Center

The old rules no longer apply. In the past, you knew how many processors would be committed to a particular application, and you made your software deals accordingly. Now, you face an ambiguous standard. What happens if you are undergoing a license audit during a period of peak demand?

Every IT innovation brings with it a necessary change in perspective …which tends to lag the innovation itself. In the case of server virtualization, enterprise application licensing has become the subject of disruption. Traditional licensing models don’t lend themselves to the flexibility of the dynamic data center. While there are no best practices on this in the market yet, you can be aware of the issue and work through remedies with your software providers.

In a physical infrastructure, per-processor licensing makes sense. The number is fixed, which makes the transaction relatively straightforward. This convenience is not available in a virtualized environment. Utilization may be fairly contained and predictable most of the time, but an unexpected spike in access – or even periods of anticipated peak demand – turn the model on its head. Going though a licensing audit when utilization is at its highest can result in an inaccurate view of general usage (and additional licenses). [Read more…]

Streamline Server Provisioning, Contain Costs

Seasoned IT professionals remember dreaming of the potential of a dynamic datacenter. Constrained by platforms that allowed little flexibility, IT managers were forced to forecast, provision and spend on a per-system basis, which inevitably meant that some systems would be taxed while others sat dark. Dynamic datacenter architectures were the stuff of reverie. Well, not any more.

Server and storage virtualization have made storage and computing power portable, eliminating platform constraints and increasing the speed and flexibility with which an infrastructure can be administered. Storage and computing power have become portable, making IT operational and financial efficiency the new norm.

It’s not hard to see how costs can escalate quickly in a static datacenter. You have to provision for peak utilization … and then some. It ultimately becomes necessary to conceive the inconceivable (in terms of surprise usage), not to mention spend for it. “Just in case” scenarios result in over-investment in IT equipment, pushing TCO higher and setting even harder to clear ROI hurdles.

A virtual infrastructure makes this over-commitment of capital unnecessary. Datacenter computing and storage resources can effectively be pooled, as virtualization makes cross-platform sharing possible. Instead of provisioning for an unanticipated spike in utilization for a particular system, you can take a holistic view of the datacenter and dynamically “borrow” resources from platforms with extra capacity. Every system, essentially, is available to help the others.

Take the guesswork – and unnecessary expense – out of your infrastructure. Virtualization puts you in control of your technology and your budget.

Using Technology To Stay Ahead In Tough Times

Softchoice’s CIO Kevin Wright talks about using technology to stay ahead in tough times.

Q: From a cost-management perspective, how has the recession changed the way you do things as an IT organization?

A: With every crisis there’s an opportunity to innovate and be more efficient. And that’s how we approached it. We made it a priority to address the things we could control directly by focusing on three key areas: rent and power, travel and IT infrastructure.

And, as a solutions company, we really wanted to leverage the technology we sell to our customers to accomplish these goals.

Q: What specific technologies have helped with rent and power costs? [Read more…]