A leading service provider with a large mix of different physical and virtual environments was incurring high management costs, getting low re-use of components and skills, and running out of physical space in its datacenter. The supplier it was working with was proposing a high-density virtualization consolidation strategy using integrated stacks. Based on its “industry standard” calculation, it was recommending the purchase of 4 units, each with a price point in excess of $1m – so an investment of over $4M in total for our customer.
With such a large investment at stake, rather than just go ahead on this basis, the customer wanted to validate the calculation. It wanted to understand the actual consolidation ratio required, achieving an optimal balance between cost and performance. It believed Sumerian’s CPaaS would produce this more accurate calculation, based on analysis of its own data rather than just “industry standards”.
Sumerian’s first step was to use existing data from the customer’s current server estate to quantify existing utilization levels and create a Baseline resource utilization profile. This Baseline showed that overall utilization across the estate was less than 15%, even when assessed at the 75th percentile (i.e. servers spent 75% of their time at less than 15% utilization). Sumerian then used its Forward Thinking predictive analytics capability to model potential consolidation scenarios, based on the proposed target architecture and business rules. For each scenario analyzed, our models predicted the utilization profiles of the target environment – i.e. the percentage of time that servers would spend at varying levels of utilization. This enabled the customer to fully understand the trade-off between risk (the likelihood that a server is starved of resources) and benefit (the savings from higher consolidation ratios) across the different consolidation scenarios. The analytics conducted established that the achievable consolidation ratio at an acceptable level of risk was actually double the supplier’s recommendation. So only 2 units were required rather than 4.
Outcome and results
With results delivered in less than 6 weeks, Sumerian’s CPaaS provided the client with the verifiable evidence it needed to de-risk the consolidation ratio decision, and save over $2m of investment – halving the cost of the virtualization program.