Case Study: Virtualization Assessment

A $60M diversified agri-company believes they need additional server capacity. Their current situation is:

• 7 VSphere servers (not included in assessment)
• 95 Virtual Machine servers
• 17 physical servers

 Virtualization Assessment

In a virtualization assessment, Parallel Technologies helps analyze application, server configurations, and utilization characteristics based on five (5) metrics.  These metrics are CPU, RAM, Disk I/O, Storage and Network.  These characteristics are then modeled to their Cisco blade server platform.  To provide room for server growth the client requested the following variables be applied to the Host Modeling.

  • CPU Utilization Threshold of 50%
  • RAM Utilization Threshold of 50%

For just two attributes of many variables measured, here are the graphical results.  Do you think they needed additional memory or server capacity or to better utilize what they have through a new virtualization plan?

 Memory Utilization

This Chart shows the distribution of servers relative to the amount of memory each consumes.  As you can see, 89 out 112 utilize 3.0 GB of memory or less.

Memory Consumption Distribution

The left side of the Memory Consumption Summary Chart (below) shows the total amount of memory available versus the average amount of memory actually used.  The right side of the chart shows the same, but on a per server basis.  On average, approximately 43% of installed RAM is not being utilized.

Memory Consumption Summary

CPU Utilization Distribution

This chart shows the distribution of all servers relative to the amount CPU (MHz) they consume.

CPU Usage Distribution

On the left side of the CPU Usage Summary chart (below) shows total CPU capacity for all VMs versus what is actually consumed.  The right side shows average per server capacity versus what is consumed.  It reveals that approximately 79% of computing power is not used.

CPU Usage Summary

Conclusion and Recommendations

In this one example, the client company helped themselves by taking the first critical step to strategic planning.  Of course there are vendors out there that would love to provide you with a forklift upgrade.  But by benchmarking where you are and creating a roadmap, you will be more likely to get a solid strategic and tactical plan. IT planning starts with assessing where you are.  Take the first step.  Find out where you are.  It will pay back 100 times over.


Dale Klein

Dale Klein is the president and owner of Parallel Technologies. He has more than two decades of experience in technology and business leadership. He transformed Parallel Technologies from a cabling services company into a high-growth technology company by helping clients with their reliable data center and intelligent building strategies.