Great news today from Mark Pohto: the TechNet White Paper SQL Server Consolidation at Microsoft has just been posted. You can download a Microsoft Word document here, or read it on-line here.
In addition to being one of the world’s leading experts on SQL Server operations, Mark is a fine human being, a guitar player of exceptional panache and taste, a wonderful writer, and an exceptionally creative guy. He was also my first manager in my current gig, a “distinction” I’m pleased to see hasn’t unduly hampered his career.
What you’ll find is the material from Mark’s article in The Architecture Journal, augmented with some serious nuts-and-bolts details on Microsoft’s SQL Utility provision concept, as designed and supported by Mark and his team.
In this day and age, this stuff is cool in so many ways. The basic idea is that there typically is a cohort of underutilized servers in most IT shops:
”Rightsizing” involves classifying the load of a series of servers, as the above chart from Mark’s Journal article does for a group of servers in MSIT. Once the concepts discussed in the article are instantiated in an orderly manner (as described in the white paper, for instance, where the following charts appear), you get some compelling before-and-after pictures:
Compelling? I told Mark the first time I saw this series of graphs that they were absolutely mind-blowing; I think they should’ve been on the cover of the Journal with the headline Can Your Database Infrastructure Do This? Probably! Look what happens at 6:1 consolidation (a ratio representing the savings experienced by MSIT through resource consolidation):
Is there a catch? Of course there is. The primary consideration is that database servers and their load need to match certain characteristics to be good candidates for virtualization. Not every application will benefit from this approach, but our research shows that a huge percentage of them probably can.
If you’ve got some database server iron running at permafrost, you’ve got to read these articles. If you can save money and go green, what’s not to like?.
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TechNet magazine has released a web-only “Green IT” edition as a companion piece to Mark Pohto’s recent