Emerson Network Power has announced what it says is the first data centre infrastructure management (DCIM) solution to provide tools to control virtual sprawl. The latest version of the Aperture Suite portfolio offers capabilities that help organisations deal with uncontrolled growth in virtualisation and better manage increased data centre complexity.
The rapid adoption of server virtualisation – running several ‘virtual’ servers on one physical device – enables potential reductions in data centre energy consumption. But it also introduces new management challenges in aligning virtual and physical resources. The new version of Aperture Suite provides a better view of the use of virtual and physical resources, so greater benefits can be achieved with less risk.
The new capabilities integrate Emerson’s software with virtual management systems, such as VMware and Microsoft Virtual Machine Manager, to reconcile virtual processes and physical hosts. Data centre personnel can see the relationships between physical and virtual devices and track virtual server sprawl.
Virtualisation is often said to be a green IT solution. Well it isn’t. It’s a tool that can help with a green IT strategy, but simply implementing a virtual server capability could end up using more power than it saves.
The trouble is that if it’s quick and easy to implement a virtual server then people will do it with little thought. Often the resource is needed for a one-off job – testing code, for example – but when the test is done the server is forgotten, wasting resources allocated to it as well as receiving updates, virus scans, etc. This virtual server sprawl is an increasing headache for data centre managers.
To implement virtualisation effectively, so that it does increase resource efficiency, means having clear policies and procedures for generating virtual servers and a corresponding process for deleting them again when no longer needed. Software like Emerson’s can help keep track of what’s going on, but there are already solutions out there, such as 1E’s NightWatchman Server Edition, which identifies both physical and virtual servers that are not performing any ‘Useful Work’.