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Virtualization: Article

Simplifying Data Center Management

There's a need to change the old system management paradigm to address a new set of challenges

In 2006 IDC released a study showing that the costs associated with data center management escalate at an alarming rate – in large part because of rising software management expenses. For users of Linux in the data center, these costs can be striking, since expenditures for management software can run four times the cost of procuring the hardware and operating system.

The growing systems management costs underlie a bigger evolution at the heart of modern data centers. In years past, data centers were predominantly composed of big iron – mainframes or large Unix computers that could scale with the addition of a few powerful servers. These servers were part of a homogeneous operating system environment – and as a result could be managed centrally, keeping management costs relatively low.

But then Linux exploded on the scene and offered something new for data centers – scalable software and low-cost commodity hardware. Relative to the price of big iron, Linux offers a cost-effective solution. But for all the benefits, new heterogeneous Linux environments have quickly become a growing headache and an expense to manage – with many more moving parts than the traditional big iron-based data center.

A Linux data center often has several versions of Linux and many varying application stacks, and an administrator must manage a significantly greater number of servers, each with its own customized operating environment.

More Stories By Madhur Kohli

Madhur Kohli if former VP of Engineering at Levanta. He has over 20 years of experience in complex enterprise computing systems architecture and realization, including 17 years at Bell Communications Research and Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, where he directed and contributed to R&D in Policy Based Management, Parallel and Distributed Computing, Real-Time Databases, IP Telephony and Messaging systems.

He is also widely published, with over 30 refereed papers in research conferences and journals.

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Most Recent Comments
Sashi 05/09/08 01:45:16 AM EDT

They still owe me a large sum of money!!

Papi 05/08/08 05:59:41 PM EDT

Jack, how are you? Let's go have some drinks some time too.

Fritz 05/08/08 01:30:30 AM EDT

Jack, stop the madness. We know you miss everyone. Just go have drinks together.

Ddennis 05/08/08 01:09:48 AM EDT

I forget my medication at times..

AK 05/07/08 07:20:45 PM EDT

Who says the product is dead on arrival?

Van tuin 05/07/08 04:00:12 AM EDT

Yo mama so fat.....

David Dennis 05/07/08 12:01:20 AM EDT

Whoever the 'DDennis' is above, it is not I, David Dennis, who worked alongside Madhur as Director of Marketing capacity for many years. Hopefully it is just a coincidence in naming, but suspect it is something far nastier. I hope those who know me well can tell the difference.

Levanta had many challenges over the years, including technical, sales, and marketing related. However, "dead on arrival" products from engineering was not one of them.

ex-Levanta-ite 05/06/08 09:25:47 PM EDT

Pretty funny, a shill article pushing Levanta's product, when the company shut its doors over a month ago. Guess y'all haven't heard of keeping up on goings-on in the bizniz...

Robert 05/06/08 09:19:38 PM EDT

May be he bought the IP, great concept though only if the product worked.

Winton 05/06/08 09:11:48 PM EDT

At least he writes well.

DDennis 05/06/08 09:03:55 PM EDT

Vp Engineering of a dead company? Great! You built a dead on arrival product for crying out loud.