Data Reduction for Virtual Servers

Challenge

Server virtualization is a widely used tactic for reducing data center costs. While server costs have decreased, the corresponding storage costs have not — in fact, storage costs have risen rapidly as a result of server virtualization.  Virtual Server management workflow is at the heart of the problem.

The reason that Virtual Server management is causing such a sharp increase in storage demands can be demonstrated using a simple example: A virtual server runs applications A, B, C, and D. Applications A, B, C, and D each require a Windows Server and a Microsoft SQL Database. An IT “best practice” is to keep three complete copies of the server installed and running: one for production, one for production standby and one for QA test as follows.

Sample Virtual Server Deployment

Operating System Database Application Intended Use
Windows 2012R2 MS SQL 2014 A Production
Windows 2012R2 MS SQL 2014 A Standby
Windows 2012R2 MS SQL 2014 A QA
Windows 2012R2 MS SQL 2014 B Production
Windows 2012R2 MS SQL 2014 B Standby
Windows 2012R2 MS SQL 2014 B QA
Windows 2012R2 MS SQL 2014 C Production
Windows 2012R2 MS SQL 2014 C Standby
Windows 2012R2 MS SQL 2014 C QA
Windows 2012R2 MS SQL 2014 D Production
Windows 2012R2 MS SQL 2014 D Standby
Windows 2012R2 MS SQL 2014 D QA

Permabit Solution

Data reduction, the combination of deduplication and compression, is the answer to the problem of Virtual Server storage sprawl and bloat. Data deduplication identifies duplicate chunks of data so that each unique chunk of OS or application data is stored only once while compression can be used to reclaim additional space. Permabit’s Albireo products are designed to deliver data reduction that works with existing storage capabilities. These savings can be delivered seamlessly alongside existing hardware features and software functions without any need for specialized agents on the hosts.