Server Consolidation – What They do not Want You to Know!

How to Reduce Costs & Increase Productivity

Do you have too many servers?

Many companies realize that they have too many servers or maybe they need to upgrade to the latest version of SQL Server. They know they are spending too much money on maintenance and equipment. Of course, they have the unfortunate bogus idea that the cost would be enormous. There were three companies called BeechTek, Tovar and Orlantek that did extensive research on this problem. The results of that research, and how that research can greatly facilitate your company is truly amazing. The following information has nothing to do with software upgrades, clusters or any other useless old solutions. The whole point is if you could set up one server instead of one hundred, greatly increase data security, reduce the overall cost and generate a 30-40% increase in performance, would that help your company? You Bet! I will try to convey what is happening in the tech community, who is at fault, who is trying to make a positive change and what you can do. I will also talk briefly the benefits and features of this new technology. The rest is up to you.

What the big companies do not want you to hear and their psychology

The Japanese have been at this longer then we have my friends! Unfortunately, when Japan or another country develops a new technology, it seems everyone else around the world has heard about it for at least six months or even years before the general American IT techs even learn about it. Since Japan still holds its position as the worlds technology leader, we need to realize it can benefit a business more if we actually research what is out there than finding out from our sales person or IBM, DELL, HP or other companies. Lets get down to brass tacks. When is the last time any company asked you if you would be open to new ideas to your issues, not to sell you something but to see if you even have a problem instead of giving you a sales pitch? Sure, I am always open to new ideas, I have to be, so that I can be on the leading edge of technology and my company can be ahead of my competition. I just seem to always get the sales pitch! I want a sales person to honestly look at my issues and honestly state if they can help me or are they are just trying to sale me their products. Imagine IBM stating, “We are sorry but we think HP has a better server that fits your needs.” But of course that will not happen. So what can you do? The only thing you can do, research.

It is unfortunate that many suppliers hide information about new technology – and I promise they hear about this technology. We know that most companies get their paycheck from constantly selling new equipment and servicing your company when a server goes down. It is clearly obvious that they have very little intention to sell you a better server with 99.99% or 99.999% up time or selling one server that can take the place of one hundred other servers. They think they will go out of business. The truth is it is morally and ethically better to sell a real solution that might make you far less money in the short term and build a trusting relationship with respect because they will always ask you for help and word gets around about your quality and ethical standards. In short, you are looking out for their interests. And that my friend, is priceless.

How can I consolidate and still save money?

So with that said, what server can replace 100 other servers? We found many companies that have a special server based on Intel Itanium technology and that is what this article is about. NEC developed a better quality server called the Express5800/1000 series, that is based on the newest Intel Itanium2 dual-core processor technology. Before we go on I know what your thinking, “but the cost must be enormous, after all, one server that can replace up to one-hundred servers?” Surprisingly we found out that is not the case at all. Although there are other Itanium type of servers out there, the NEC Express5800/1000 series Itanium2 with 64 bit computing, not only had the best secure speeds (holds the worlds speed record), best quality, but also has the highest usable features and by far is the best bang for the buck. The most important benefits are not how it will greatly increase production but how much money it will save your company.

Now how much do all your servers cost? What are the electricity costs? Do not forget all the licenses for the OS, applications, maintenance, upgrades etc. And of course there is the cost of down-time (which most companies still use clusters and other old solutions – read my other article on about a server with 99.999% guaranteed up time) which many companies have pinned down the cost, ranging from $8,000 to $6.5M per hour, depending on tour industry.

Yes, it really adds up but lets look at a server that can really “serve” your business. There is a wave of 64-bit architecture based solutions entering the market place. More and more companies are inquiring about the benefits of migrating to a 64 bit system. Though the benefits may seem obvious, it is important to understand exactly how different the 32-bit and 64-bit environments are and what type of hardware can best leverage the exponential performance capabilities offered by the 64-bit deployment. We found that NEC has established itself as the leader in the 64-bit hardware solutions space from not only being around te longest in the Itanium2 space but also by introducing with the World’s best non-clustered TPC-H results on Windows(TM) Server 2003 with SQL Server 2000 (64-bit).

We will attempt to explain 64-bit computing implementation, which applications benefit from 64-bit solutions, and the key differences and benefits of migrating from 32-bit to a 64-bit architecture. Though, the performance benefits of 64-bit can be experienced by many high-end workstations and server applications such high-traffic e-commerce sites, computer-aided engineering, and high-performance scientific and engineering computing, this article discusses specific benefits on Microsoft® SQL Server 2000 (64-bit). We will discuss how to leverage the 64-bit architecture to gain record performance on large database management systems, data mining and server consolidation solutions. Extreme high performance servers are the top candidates for the 64-bit platform. Specially, large scale database management systems like Microsoft SQL Server 2000 (64-bit). The 64-bit environment allows a large addressable memory pool and offers newly optimized processing capabilities leveraging the Intel Itanium2 processor. Any application demanding high speed processor utilization, significant bus I/O speed, storing large amounts of data in memory cache, and high concurrency of hundreds and thousands of users, will directly benefit from increased performance by migrating to 64-bit architecture solution. For example, an existing 32-bit based application, after migration to a 64-bit software and hardware architecture, one will see immediate performance gains when taking on more complex workloads and processing large amounts of data.

Organizations that move to an Itanium 2-based platform can not only address current performance issues, but also gain familiarity with architecture that will be able to keep up with scalable demands in the near and intermediate future.

Scalability Benefits

Microsoft SQL Server 2000 (64-bit) has removed any remaining barriers left for scaling line of business applications. Applications that access a very large multi-terabyte database, data warehousing applications, business intelligence applications, decision support systems, modeling for scientific and financial applications, complex business applications and electronic resource planning systems (such as PeopleSoft, SAP, and Baan), online transaction processing (OLTP) applications, data mining and sleuth of other database applications, now have the ability to achieve exponential scalability when deployed on a 64-bit hardware solution. Microsoft SQL Server 2000 (64-bit) can support up to 64 CPUs and 512 GB of RAM. From a database performance perspective the 64-bit architecture provides super-computer like computing power to database applications. The bar of scalability for line of business and data warehousing applications has been raised by Microsoft SQL Server 2000 (64-bit) to levels unimaginable on the 32-bit versions. With NEC Express5800/1000 series Itanium2 servers, customers can not only benefit from such record-breaking performance, but can also enjoy an overall reduced total cost of ownership.

Database and Server Consolidation Benefits

The concept of database and server consolidation has taken an all-together different dimension with the advent of 64-bit computing. Microsoft SQL Server 2000 (64-bit) supports up to 16 instances of database service on a single machine. Prior to 64-bit, enterprise customers were not really able to leverage this feature due to limitations inherent in the 32-bit Windows operating system. These limitations have been extinct from 64-bit implementations. For example, under 64-bit, NECExpress 5800/1000 series customers can expand from 8 CPUs all the way up to 32 CPUs. This allows customers for the first time to implement true database and server consolidation without having to worry about running out of horsepower as their business grows.

The Difference between 32-bit and 64-bit computing

A 64 bit operating system supports far more virtual memory than a 32-bit operating system. For example, 32-bit Windows Server 2003 supports 4 GB of virtual memory, while 64-bit Windows supports 16 TB of virtual memory. Non-paged pool memory (an area of system memory reserved for objects that must remain in physical memory as long as they are active) increases substantially, up to 128 GB for the 64-bit platform compared to 256 MB maximum for the 32-bit platform. With these new higher limits, the scalability that the 64-bit platform offers is enormous in terms of terminal server clients, page pools, network connections, and so on. The 64-bit alone can increase speeds further than anything most people can comprehend. With the new Intel® Dual Core Processor with hyper-threading this will of course, increase the processing speeds, let me try to show you the magnitude of this. Let me say the fastest server is like a snail crawling on the sidewalk, the CPU in a Itanium2 with the Intel® 64 bit Dual Core Processor with hyper-threading would be equivalent to a fighter jet hitting the speed of Mach 1.

NOTE: I am being very conservative here.

Last words

Folks, when we finished researching this data, we knew that NEC has a wonderful product, I just wished I had owned stock in the company because I sincerely believe this server has what it takes to dominate that market in that field of servers. We couldn’t believe this technology was being released to the public and truthfully, we also believe this will change what businesses use. The NEC server has nearly 10 times the throughput of 32-bit systems, over twice the performance of 32-bit systems. It is loaded with features like self healing system management and is 20-30% faster then IBM and HP RISC servers. We have found that it is 30% faster then other competitors servers at about 1/3 the price! It runs 90% of database applications, including Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2 and Oracle. NEC’s Itanium machine is by far the MOST POWERFUL, SPACE-EFFICIENT, COST-EFFECTIVE 64-BIT COMPUTING SOLUTION AVAILABLE. From their super computer-based cross bar technology to mirrored memory, NEC has thought up of just about everything. These particular servers in comparison to others we have researched are by far the best deal. You see, for every hundred servers replaced by one NEC Express5800/100 series Itanium2 you would have

1. Greatly reduced the costs from buying multiple machines

2. Saved from using all those multiple Operating Systems licenses

3. The ability to run multiple applications

4. Maintenance for only one machine!

5. Your system will have over 99.99% up time (clusters rate at 99.9%) and with the NEC disaster recovery – no data loss!

6. Significantly reduce the electric bill alone with only one server and the cooling bill for the data center!

7. Your clients and staff will have their data faster than ever before!

8. You will get more than 35-45 increase in production capacity! Remember the speeds these have not only are unbelievable, but the way it gets that data from the server is also very high tech.

9. Very simple to manage and the quality of NEC products are state of the art.

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