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Consolidating Cloud Computing Systems Featured

Consolidating Cloud Computing Systems "The path to infinity."

It’s no longer a secret that the cloud computing revolution has helped businesses achieve many things, most of which could not be attained through the traditional server systems. In the process, many on-premise software platforms have died a natural death leading to the rise of other cloud-based platforms such as Office 365 and Google Docs, among others. These cloud-based software systems have successfully sent the local word processors towards extinction, something that no one ever thought of a decade ago. Storage-as-a-service has replaced data servers used to fill server rooms in organizations’ back offices, while virtual machines have supplanted the on-premise app servers. With the rising adoption of the cloud, server consolidation has gained popularity. It is a way of making use of efficient hardware and software resources to save costs, considering the fact that many servers are often under-utilized.

What is server consolidation?

Server consolidation is a practice where the number of servers or server locations are reduced for the compute resources to be used efficiently, and costs minimized appropriately. It entails moving multiple, heterogeneous workloads to one server or combining workloads under one operating system. It may also entail replacing legacy servers with virtual systems, cloud, or SaaS products.

Why server consolidation?

Server consolidation has various benefits for cloud computing companies. First, it reduces the cost of electricity and cooling. It also minimizes the server load growth and the expansion of data centers. It cuts down licensing costs and enhances the agility of the business. The costs are saved almost immediately, which is primarily the key focus of server consolidation. Reduction of the overhead costs and maintenance costs is a massive advantage to the cloud service providers. Also, where the extra hardware was placed before the consolidation will be saved. Additionally, the money that could have been spent on the maintenance of additional hardware and power can be saved. For organizations that want to upgrade to new hardware, consolidation is the right way forward because the new and modern hardware minimizes the carbon footprint by reducing the hardware resources and power consumption.

The server consolidation trend has been on the rise in recent years, mainly among cloud computing companies. The trend has moved towards the platforms that were just infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) into larger cloud solutions that offer almost every cloud service available out there. An excellent example of such a solution is Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS has morphed into a bigger solution offering PaaS and IaaS compared to back in the mid-2000s when it offered virtual machine instances and simple cloud storage.

The cloud services can also be consolidated with cloud and SaaS tools. These tools allow you to move storage and processing power off the grid. With the cloud, you are capable of pushing the processing power -which would have been on-premise- off your network, allowing you to save resources that would have been consumed in more important tasks. There are also savings associated with the operational costs such as upkeep and electricity as well as rent for more premises. All these can be achieved by moving the servers to the cloud.

Based on the trends, server consolidation will be in high demand and will also become advanced and complex in the coming years. While it can be critical in enhancing efficiency in processing and reducing the cost, a problem might come with connecting multiple servers into a single storage resource. This is already the case since companies are struggling to do so. This can be avoided by having on-premise software-defined storage (SDS) file management solution. This solution sits on servers and can accept connections from other servers.

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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for PMG360. He is a technology writer and editor with 20+ years experience delivering high value content to readers and publishers. 

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