Making Hard Decisions Easy

VoicenData Bureau
New Update

Can anyone deny that servers in enterprise networks are critical, and they

form the backbone of the enterprise IT infrastructure.


Various parameters like cooling capacity, performance per watt,

interoperability, RoI vis-a-vis a particular server technology are kept in mind

while making the buying decision, as they are the ones that ensure productivity

of any organization. Naturally, CIOs of enterprises have become very choosy in

deciding servers for their enterprise's IT set up. Any investment on servers

should be based on ramping up the back-end IT infrastructure that can scaled up

according to the new requirements of the enterprise. Apart from these

parameters, affordable price forms an integral part.

The telecom vertical is a major consumer of different server technologies,

and demand is increasing day by day as SPs provide a range of value added

services and carry a whole range of activities in OSS and BSS. Server vendors

also come out with carrier grade server solutions to meet the increasing demand

in server performance.

Server purchase decisions are either postponed or canceled as the market

witnesses a slump. IDC forecasts that the market will see eight quarters of

y-o-y revenue declines. The directive of every organization has now been changed

to 'do more with less' as a result of the recession. So CIOs are forced to

choose a solution that can do more with less investment.


Expert Panel

Seema Ambastha, director of technology, VMware India

Abhilesh Guleria, country head, IT platform business and display
solutions, NEC India

S Sridhar, director, marketing, India relationship, Dell

Pallab Talukdar, CEO, Fujitsu India

Key Technology Trends

These troubled times in a way enhanced the need for virtualization.

Virtualization has shown companies the effects and benefits that could be

achieved in terms of cost cutting by turning to this technology.

Many companies have turned to virtualization technologies for their servers

and their data centers to simplify administration and to reduce management

chores and operating costs, while maintaining reliability and safeguarding

against disasters. Seeing the significant benefits virtualization delivers in

those environments, companies are now looking to apply the same technology to

their desktop computers.


Today, an increasing number of organizations have global aspirations. At the

same time, they know they have to be nimble to garner competitive advantage

because of the economic weather. According to VMware, an automated data center

built on a virtualization platform lets enterprises respond to market dynamics

faster and more efficiently than ever before.

The back-end enterprises, data centers, and banks prefer servers that have

the capability to run multiple applications within a single system. Today

enterprises are looking at consolidating all of their applications into a single

server that has the capability of partitioning; running multiple operating

systems; running processors of different generations, frequencies, and


Virtual Clients

Virtual client solutions have advantages on data security, system

manageability and TCO reduction over PC environment. The next generation VPCC

Thin-Client system saves up to 62% system power consumption compared with normal

PCs. It uses server based computing where the data is secure and protected on

the server side and not exposed to misuse, theft, hacking-typical case in a PC

scenario where data resides on the local disk of a PC.


Organizations have realized that acquiring desktop, software installation,

software upgradation in addition to maintaining these systems is a costly and

time-consuming business, and hence are shifting towards desktop virtualization.

It's only been a few years since virtualization has become feasible for servers,

but server virtualization is a hot topic in the world of information technology.

Rack systems will increasingly become part of any standard data center of

enterprises. The blade server and appliance server have good growth potential in

India in the SMB market place. A blade server houses multiple thin, modular

electronic circuit boards/server blades which are often dedicated to a single

application. As blade servers are designed to occupy less space, cabling is also

simplified. Blade servers provide more processing power with less power

consumption. With blade servers, enterprises can experience as much as 85%

reduction in cabling compared to the conventional 1U or tower servers. It also

helps IT administrators save a lot of time on managing the infrastructure.

Serving the Green Cause

Another important aspect is the energy saving solution in server

technologies. Energy savings are achieved in server, storage and other hardware

by incorporating virtual infrastructure and adopting energy-saving components

such as CPU, memory and disk units. Reducing the initial costs and power

consumption leads to an increase in the overall RoI.


So green IT is an important agenda on every CIOs/CTOs list and various

measures are being adopted towards it. As power and space saving technologies

assume lot of importance owing to their cost saving benefits, server vendors

will also offer power saving technologies for enterprises. These technologies

provide optimum technology solutions for storage and backup, clustering,

security, and virtualization. NEC's energy saving server, Eco Center leverages

specially designed rack mounted hardware that combines advances in power

efficiency, virtualization technology, and platform management capabilities to

optimize power consumption.

Every organization has to assure a unique mix of server purchase requirements

that include high performance, reliability, technology, equipment, etc, while

working within constraints such as budget, floor space, power/thermal capacity

and so on. Servers need to fit the application's requirements as well as the

data center deployment strategy. Whether it is a SME or a large enterprise, CIOs

should not go by marketing gimmicks for purchasing server solutions. Basically

the solutions should be able to simplify operations, maximize the IT resources,

integrate with other existing servers, and be cost effective too.

  • Mix and match is the mantra for server purchasing decison
  • Consider proven IT usage models such as virtualization, consolidation,

    dense computing, etc
  • Tap in the opportunity from companies looking at consolidating their

    IT infrastructure and co-locate their IT equipments in data centers
  • Evaluate both tangible and intangible RoI
  • Explore green solutions

For CIOs, it is important that their enterprises are energy efficient and

there is provision for expansion and scalability. Customers have a lot of data

of different types, and the bulk of the information is stored on Microsoft

Window servers or Linux/Unix/Proprietary hardware. It is critical to analyze the

type of data before selecting the storage. e Windows Storage Server often

provides the fastest performance for the dollars spent with the lowest

acquisition cost as well as the lowest TCO for standard files that could include

office documents, images, videos etc.

Specialized applications like databases, messaging (exchange) need higher

performance block storage. A good storage solution leverages both the

technologies to provide optimized storage for both 'file data' as well as 'block


Additionally, CIOs need to consider proven IT usage models such as

virtualization/consolidation, dense computing and technical computing, etc. When

choosing a suitable hardware, it is worth considering which applications would

the hardware be supporting—simple or complex. For instance, choosing a suitable

processor will get the job done and may outperform the other processor depending

on the applications.

BFSI, manufacturing, IT& ITeS, and the government are the main sectors

driving the server market. Going forward, the government sector which has been

least impacted by the economic slowdown is witnessing project based activities.

Another strong vertical could be the retail sector for fueling the growth of the

server technology demands.

Kannan K