Decoding the Need for SQL Server Consolidation

Consolidation has become integral to contemporary business operations as it translates into improved cost efficiency owing to better utilization of resources and improved manageability of the IT infrastructure. One common challenge for larger enterprises and SMBs is managing their database—driving maximum efficiencies from minimal database investments. According to a recent industry survey, improving efficiency and reduction in costs are the key factors driving the need for SQL Server consolidation. In this discussion, we are going to emphasize on this data center modernization trend that is expected to make an impact in 2016…

Un-integrated Servers: Driving IT Decision-makers Towards SQL Server Consolidation

SQL Server consolidation stems from the current state of affairs, i.e. across most IT organizations where disparate SQL Servers, involving physical servers, some running different versions, present a major cost deterrent. Inadequate utilization of servers is at the core such issues with performance concerns too being a major barrier. In such a scenario, IT managers are expected to ensure optimum performance along with virtualizing their SQL environment, for improvement in overall efficiency.

Let us highlight major points that motivate IT managers for SQL Server Consolidation:

  • The major driving force behind SQL Server Consolidation is undoubtedly cost reduction but managers do consider performance, manageability and high availability as major decisive factors. Since hardware runs closer to capacity after consolidation, reducing inefficiency along with capital and operating expenses becomes easier. In fact, upgrading to newer hardware with fewer machines can actually help you in reducing rack space, power consumption and cooling needs. Administrative and maintenance overhead can be considerably reduced by this exercise.
  • Need to standardize is also an influential factor working in support of SQL Server Consolidation, immediately after cost reduction and improving efficiency. Standardization enables managers to reap the advantages of predictable workflows and better audit control.
  • Consolidation of SQL Server renders a certain degree of IT agility too that is crucial for some organizations. Moving applications into newer hardware promises improved performance and reliability as new machines can be better configured for reducing downtimes and rolling out upgrades. Better control and flexibility is ensured in terms of sizing, utilization and placement of computing resources.
  • Security and Resource Management are two major concerns that need to be addressed by IT managers before accomplishing the consolidation process. While preparing your consolidation plan, there are some compliance issues that need to be addressed upfront, including regulatory requirements around compliance and disclosure of information. Applications with stringent security protocols are more relevant for consolidation because the VM provides the same level of security isolation as a dedicated physical host.

What to look for when choosing a consolidation partner?

What enterprises require today is an IT solutions provider who offers a combination of performance and cost reduction ideally suited for SQL Server consolidation. As a trusted Microsoft partner and provider of ubiquitous services for transforming IT infrastructure across enterprises, along with providing precision I/O (IOPS) per VM for allowing admins to warrant predictable high performance I/O for every virtualized SQL workload. The freedom of consolidating SQL Servers into a virtualized environment is a big plus for the enterprises as it helps in lowering TCO along with allowing control over the delivery of IOPS to each VM.

When choosing your server consolidation strategy, consider security, disaster recovery, density and manageability. You can choose several options for SQL Server Consolidation—database consolidation, instance consolidation, virtualization and other options like mixing the instance consolidation and database into a VM.

Whatever option you choose, having higher isolation is always better because it allows greater flexibility for leveraging all features effectively. However, there are certain bottlenecks in the implementation process that hamper application performance. For instance, an unconsolidated application is likely to have a dedicated physical machine with its own CPU, RAM, storage, and network devices whereas a consolidated application resides on a machine that shares all of these resources with other applications.

This problem can be solved by sizing every parameter driving the need for consolidation. INFINIT can help you do this by providing multiple CPU cores, sufficient storage capacity and memory along with network adapters to handle the workload.

Cost Efficiency and High Performance are at the Core of SQL Server Modernization

An enterprise-level IT solutions provider should have the ability to optimize your infrastructure for the most demanding database environments. Virtualization and consolidation of SQL is made simpler with hyper-converged appliances, something that was conventionally executed by standalone physical servers. By delivering IOPS and scalability, your service provider can help you reduce infrastructure spend and SQL licensing cost.

When choosing a Microsoft SQL Server partner, ensure that the company has a fully-capable infrastructure with fault tolerance so that the operations continue even if a particular node fails. Consolidation is a never-ending prospect to a certain extent. New hardware and machines will keep arriving along with growth in new applications. ‘Green IT’ (reducing data center footprints by consuming fewer idle machines for reduced power consumption/cooling) is also a driving force behind SQL Server Consolidation.

Considering the advantages of each consolidation strategy, choose which option paves the way for a more dynamic and scalable IT infrastructure, thus supporting the growth of the company. INFINIT caters to such requirements being a holistic Managed Service Provider, which includes end-to-end data warehousing solutions and streamlining SQL workloads for an enterprise of any size/scale.

Explore INFINIT’s enterprise-smart solutions tailored for enterprises—you can deploy Data Warehouse as a Service solution. A comprehensively managed solution, if offers the liberty to monitor, manage, scale and provision data platforms as your businesses’ changing preferences.

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