Operating Systems

What’s your definition of IT resource (e.g., server, storage, network, facilities, and software) efficiency and optimization? If it’s consolidation or boosting utilization to do more with what you have, or to do more with less, including server or storage virtualization, you would be correct. However, if you said it meant boosting performance, doing more work, storing more data, and moving more information in a smaller amount of time while using less energy and floor space to meet a given service level, you also would be correct.

For legacy enterprise environments, this goes without saying; however, sometimes what’s assumed and understood needs to be discussed. Thus, in the quest to reduce, defer, or otherwise shift or mask costs by striving toward higher levels of IT resource utilization, it’s important to keep performance, availability, and overall Quality of Service (QoS) in perspective. For example, a server or storage system may appear to be underutilized, but, in fact, be delivering a specific performance or QoS level, thus meeting its service objective; however, are the IT resources or applicable technologies being optimally used? The answer to that is it depends!

While there’s a tendency to focus on capacity (space) footprint utilization improvements, including data reduction ratios, there also needs to be a balance between and focus on performance and response time requirements. Thus, IT resource efficiency and optimization are balanced between time (performance) and space (capacity) while maintaining availability to a given service level requirement. Techniques and technologies to boost IT resource performance (time) efficiency include:

• Caching and performance acceleration techniques on a local- and wide-area basis

• Balancing data transfer rates with data reduction ratios

• Leveraging fast storage, servers and networks for efficiency

• Consolidating to faster technologies that do more work in less time using less energy

• Measuring efficiency in terms of work or activity per watt of energy or data transfer rates.

Techniques and technologies to boost IT resource capacity (space) efficiency include:

• Reducing data footprint impact across all applications and categories of data or storage

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