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Virtualization and Server Consolidation Project. Newmarket International, Inc. What is virtualization?. The term virtualization broadly describes the separation of a resource or request for a service from the underlying physical delivery of that service.

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What is virtualization?

  • The term virtualizationbroadly describes the separation of a resource or request for a service from the underlying physical delivery of that service.

  • Virtualization as a technology becomesconsolidation in practice for business

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Who is Virtualizing

Source: CIO Insight

IDC expects spending on virtualization technology to be $15 billion by 2009.

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What is virtualization?

  • Virtualization through Ring Compression

  • Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM) runs at ring 0

  • OS Kernel(s) run at ring 1

  • Requires CPUis virtualizable






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What is virtualization?

Operating System

Operating System

Intel Architecture

Virtual Machine Monitor

Virtual Machine Monitor: A thin software layer that sits between hardware and the operating system — virtualizing and managing all hardware resources

Intel Architecture

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What is virtualization?


















IBM VM/370


IBM Mainframe

  • 1960’s IBM VM/370

  • A VMM for IBM mainframe

    • Multiple OS’s on expensive hardware

    • Desirable when few machines around

  • Popular research idea in 1960s and 1970s

    • Entire conferences on virtual machine monitor

    • Hardware/VMM/OS designed together

  • Interest died out in the 1980s and 1990s.

    • Hardware got cheap

    • Operating systems got more powerful (multi-user)

  • Fast Forward to 1996

  • Disco: Stanford research project (1996-):

    • Run commodity OSes on scalable multiprocessors

    • Focus on high-end: NUMA, MIPS, IRIX

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What is virtualization?

Parallel Ports

Serial/Com Ports



Floppy Disks



Sound Card


IDE Controller

SCSI Controller

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The Big Four

  • CPU

  • DISK



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What is virtualization?

Four Example Roles of Virtualization

  • Testing and QA

  • Server Consolidation

  • Application Compatibility

  • Security Solutions

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#1: Testing and QA












Quality Assurance






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Database Server

App Server

App Server

Web Server

Web Server

VMware MultipleWorlds + Physical Hardware

#2: Server Consolidation

Web Server

Web Server

App Server

App Server

Database Server

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#3: Application Compatibility

Legacy Application

Legacy Application

Legacy Application


NT 4.0




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#4 Security Solutions







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Newmarket International’s Virtualization and Server Consolidation Project

Ken Wilson Manager, Network and SystemsMike Ransom Systems Administrator

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Brief Intro on Newmarket Consolidation Project

  • Founded in 1985 as Newmarket Software

  • What does the Newmarket International do?

    • Solution Provider for the Hospitality Industry

  • Flagship product is Delphi

  • Some of our Customers:

    • Starwood Hotels Atlanta

    • Hyatt International

    • Whitbread Hotels

    • Trump Entertainment Resorts

  • Workforce of about 360

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Brief Intro on Newmarket Consolidation Project

  • Founded as a software developer, Newmarket has branched out into the ASP market with our product in 2003

    • Hosted in a Tier 1 Data Center

  • Global Company

    • Offices in Portsmouth, London, Barcelona, Singapore, and Australia

    • Servers are located in Portsmouth, London, and Singapore

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Brief Intro on Newmarket Consolidation Project

  • Recent News

    • Recently acquired another local company – competitor based on Pease

    • Looking for an additional Network Administrator

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Newmarket’s Approach Consolidation Project

  • Identified internal drivers to virtualize

    • Needed to reduce IT costs

      • Both hard (capital and operational) and soft (administration)

    • Needed flexibility

      • Ability to quickly provision new servers and move servers easily

    • Needed to make better use of existing and new equipment

      • Many of our servers were underutilized. New hardware only exasperated the problem.

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Newmarket’s Approach Consolidation Project

  • Needed easier way to support a diverse environment

    • Many older DOS, NetWare, and Windows Operating Systems on old “whiteboxes” that were not reliable.

    • A rebuild of NetWare could take a day as the expertise is limited.

    • Like the idea of a server being hardware-independent – prompted by problems with managing Ghost templates in the past

  • Needed to reduce provisioning times

  • Needed centralized management

  • Saw VMWare ESX was maturing

  • Sprung from another project – Lifecycle Management

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Why Virtualization as part of Lifecycle Management Consolidation Project

  • Took an inventory of our existing server install base.

  • Found that 54% of our servers were in or going into their fifth year of service

  • Found that 52% of those servers were workstation-class machines

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Why Virtualization as part of Lifecycle Management Consolidation Project

  • Doing the math, we realized that we’d save 25% in Year 1 and 18% over three years in capitalization costs. Additionally, we’d see an increase of 11% in Year 1, and 13% over three years in hard operational costs.

  • However, we also saw the other soft benefits in going with virtualization. We saw virtualization as a way to be a better service provider to the organization, being able to meet the needs more quickly and efficiently. We found that virtualization met our corporate direction.

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Basic Example Consolidation Project

Cost of three servers over three years

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Basic Example Consolidation Project

Cost of three servers over three years

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How did we get started? Consolidation Project

  • Started with VMWare Workstation in 2003

  • Implemented several instances for our Dev/QA Departments

  • Implemented for some low-end enterprise applications

  • Made the jump to ESX in December of 2004

  • Made virtualization the cornerstone of our Lifecycle Management Plan for 2005

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Environment Prior to Virtualization Consolidation Project

  • Four server rooms full of “white boxes”

  • A number of aging Compaq Servers

  • Challenges with failing hardware and non-redundant systems

  • Remote management difficult – often making a drive into the office necessary

  • Messy – lots of KVM and network cables

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What hardware? Consolidation Project

  • Used HP 2-Processor Servers

    • Cheaper

    • Didn’t want to put too many eggs in one basket

  • 8GB RAM in each server

  • Generally HP BL20pG3’s attached to an MSA (Dev/QA) and EVA4000 (Enterprise)

  • Some installs on DL380 G4’s for standalone and less important servers

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Why VMWare ESX Server? Consolidation Project

  • Seemed to be the most mature

  • Supported more than just Windows

  • Nice tool set and simplified management

  • SAN Multipathing built in

  • Very few bugs – software seemed to be well designed

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Multipathing SAN Consolidation Project

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Tools Used to Migrate Consolidation Project

  • VMWare’s P2V Assistant

    • Cumbersome and not very useful

    • Approximately 50% success rate

  • Platespin’s PowerConvert 5.1

    • Nearly “drag and drop” virtualization

    • Near 100% success rate

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Other VMWare Tools Consolidation Project


    • To perform an online backup locally or to a remote host

    • Example “ -l -c /home/vmware/vm_name/vm_name.vmx”

    • We have used it, but currently use original strategy (Legato Networker)

  • VMKUsage

    • Live monitoring

    • Need to run “vmkusagectl install” on ESX host first

  • ESXTop

    • Used through SSH Client

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Management Tools Consolidation Project

  • VMWare ESX MUI

    • Good for one or several ESX Servers

    • Cumbersome

    • Needed for many tasks (i.e. Scan SAN)

  • VMWare VirtualCenter

    • Great VM Deployment and Monitoring Tool

      • Best part is the ability to see performance data at a glance!

    • Well-designed

    • Granular permissions

      • For instance, I can grant access to the QA Manager so that he ONLY sees the QA Farm. Can bring that level of permissions right down to the virtual server level.

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What is VMotion Consolidation Project

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How did it go? Consolidation Project

  • We did see our overall number of servers grow.

    • We had need for more servers and it was almost too easy to deploy them.

    • We needed servers to host the virtual servers on (added to the overall number).

  • Were able to standardize on several templates

  • Increased the speed of our Lifecycle Management Plan

    • We were able to retire servers more quickly by simply P2V’ing old servers

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2005 Server Trend Consolidation Project

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Where are we at today? Consolidation Project

  • 22 Hosts (soon to be 24)

  • 125 Virtual Machines

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Where are we at today? Consolidation Project

  • VM’s support services such as

    • SAP (Dev/QA)

    • Domain Controllers

    • WINS/DNS

    • Crystal Reports

    • Intranet

    • FAS

    • ADP

    • Dynamics

    • SQL

    • Limited Terminal Services

    • Blackberry Router

    • Instant Messaging

    • etc

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Where are we at today? Consolidation Project

  • Provisioning times approximately 25% of where they were in 2004

  • Production Enterprise Server Availability at 99.936% for 2005 (Overall Availability at 99.901%)

  • Environment is standardized

  • Much easier to “stage” applications before deployment

  • Able to quickly migrate machines from “overworked” or failing hardware to available hardware in seconds without downtime.

  • Provides us with more time to be proactive and plan (or deal with other fires!)

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Where do we go from here? Consolidation Project

  • Improve virtualization ratio to 60/40

  • Implement VMWare Server in Remote Offices

  • Increase monitoring and alerting using built-in alerting

  • Implement ESX3 with VirtualCenter2

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Pro’s and Con’s Consolidation Project

  • Pro’s

    • Saved money

    • A lot of flexibility

    • Easier management

    • Snapshotting

    • Load balance easily

    • Much easier to deploy new servers

    • More effective use of SAN

    • Better use of existing and new equipment

    • Nice migration tools available – Platespin

    • Easier to keep images of servers

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Pro’s and Con’s Consolidation Project

  • Con’s

    • Cheaper, but not significant

    • Significant amount of hardware needed especially if implementing VMotion

    • Must have a SAN (again if implementing VMotion)

    • In reality, you really need four NIC’s per host (if doing VMotion)

    • Gigabit Ethernet needed for VMotion

    • Additional capacity needed for hardware failure

    • Virtual Center needs SQL

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VMWare ESX3 and VirtualCenter2 Consolidation Project

Dan Sullivan, VMWare SE