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Data centers everywhere are being stretched by greater demands for storage from new applications and systems integration projects. As a result, server and storage infrastructure rates have soared 10 to 20 percent per year. When it comes to data center virtualization, Accenture leads the way with our ability to leverage virtualization broadly and deeply, to achieve vast cost reductions, improve IT agility and flexibility and realize cloud computing benefits. And we’ve used this ability to transform our own server utilization.
An overwhelming amount of data has resulted in vast amounts of computing power simply going to waste and for many companies server utilization is well under 25 percent, with up to 40 percent of total server ownership costs being consumed by inefficiencies.
In helping clients rationalize and virtualize their data centers, Accenture has found that up to 95 percent of existing servers can be standardized, 80 percent can be centralized, and 50 percent can be consolidated.
Accenture is also vulnerable to this exponential growth and has set forth an ambitious target for its internal data centers: 80-plus percent server utilization by the time Accenture’s virtualization initiative is completed.
Accenture’s IT organization put the power of virtualization in the hands of application teams, letting internal groups tap into virtualization capabilities through “managed services” for provisioning and hosting of virtual environments. An experienced internal IT team is ensuring that meeting business needs remains the first and foremost priority, from planning to implementation.
Accenture’s virtualization initiative has four major components:
Accenture’s infrastructure is now more stable because there are fewer physical components. Lower power consumption and the ability to leverage capacity across a larger set of applications creates measurable green benefits, as every one of the new energy-efficient physical servers with virtual instances replaces 15 to 20 less efficient physical machines. This consolidation will reduce Accenture’s carbon footprint by 400,000 tons over the next five years. Reducing infrastructure costs for storage, servers and databases, while providing greater infrastructure flexibility for applications, also reduces provisioning cycle time and increases availability.
Additionally, Accenture’s virtualized storage for enterprise resource planning (ERP) development, which uses snapshot technology, has significantly reduced storage needs for SAP environments. Quality assurance procedures applied to these environments removed redundant data copies, saving approximately 50 terabytes of SAP storage.
With 112 physical virtualization servers and 1,972 virtual machines, Accenture reduced capital expenses by 84 percent and improved flexibility through elimination of procurement lead time. Accenture has virtualized the databases for 274 of its applications, using 34 physical database servers for both production and non-production. Without virtualization, Accenture would have had to support approximately 820 physical servers to meet its application database requirements for production and non-production.
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