Lawyer Bait

The views expressed herein solely represent the author’s personal views and opinions and not of anyone else - person or organization.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Desktop vs. Server - Where is the Best Bang for the Buck?

A friend of mine at State Street in Boston sent me a link to an article talking about Merrill Lynch starting to virtualize the desktop en masse.

It got me thinking about where the best bang for the buck is - at the desktop or the server. Purely by numbers it's the desktop. There are more desktops than servers out there in most companies. I think the biggest issue is that you have to deal with users and their inherent free will to put P2P stuff, different chat software, games, etc. on their desktops, and with servers it tends to be a little easier since most people who know how to run a server don't call support and say 'My Internet is Broken'.

I also paid attention because it validates a solution I have been incubating for 7-8 months that has the capability to turn the desktop world on its head and cut the costs of a desktop to $100 or less per year. You pick how much you want to save based on how many desktops you want to manage.

What the solutions that are out there offer (Desktone is one I checked out) is essentially snapshot to storage of the image. Hardly new and hardly virtual. The partners include Citrix, Microsoft, and VMware. Huh?

If there is to be real, measurable, and true cost savings you need some other goodies (features) built in - and yes I have them - as well as the knowledge of what it takes from the support engineer point of view, the network engineer point of view, the IT staff in house, right up to the CFO who makes sure the company gets the best bang for its buck and manages revenue and expenses well.

In other words it's not all about the desktop. It's about all the other stuff that run (or shouldn't run) on it, and the infrastructure behind it that matter as much if not more. If you want a little juice, press an apple. If you want a lot of juice, press the orchard.

Have a great long weekend out there, and remember our soldiers - present and past - who are responsible for keeping me and my generations of family safe.

A personal Thank You to the men and women in uniform and their families who are able to call themselves soldiers this Memorial Day. Your family keeps mine free and we know it. You should too. Thank You.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Virtualization – The chargeback conundrum

Funding it vs. Paying for it...

I have recently had 6 discussions in the past two weeks with companies on how to get a Virtualization project funded, which is a relatively simple discussion to have. It basically involves us working with our ROI model to come up with real cost savings on quantifiable (hard) costs. Based on that the projects are either funded or not and we help roll out infrastructure (on premise or a third party site), licensing, etc. – the usual project lifecycle stuff.

Where clients fall down in on how to get business units and departments to pay for what they use. I have dubbed it the Chargeback Conundrum.

The issue is that when an enterprise wants to execute an Enterprise License Agreement (an ELA) for the Virtualization software (VMWare) there are no simple controls or visibility into what businesses consume and how to charge them back. From the business perspective, they are reluctant to go all in to help pay for it when there is no proof of what they are getting or understanding of what they will be charged, and arguably more important – no trust with the IT organization.

In other words –

Business Executive: How do I know that I am not giving a piece of my budget to another group?

IT Executive: (insert explanation here).

Business Executive: OK, prove it.

IT Executive: (insert deer in the headlights look on face here)

If you need help – reach out –

We can give you unprecedented visibility as product or a service so if you don’t want the cap ex on your balance sheet we can accommodate.

The services offering for Virtualization is also preferred when you want to pay for the functionality vs. be responsible for it.

You’ll need to work with your facilities folks to look at power consumption. While you can shrink the footprint, the power per cabinet jumps from 4KW to 7KW (almost doubles), and you’ll want to have the specialized floor tiles with variable speed fans, the temperature sensors on the front and back of the cabinets with the blades in them, and have it tied together in a management console.

If it sounds too cumbersome – reach out. We’re great at cutting to the chase…

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

How do you like THEM apples?


Here at Virtualizationstuff we have rolled out the following methodology for implementing a virtualization project. The Acronym is APPLES. The beauty of the methodology is its simplicity and the fact that most organizations can do a lot of the work minimizing costs at the outset and for ongoing maintenance. For everything else there is Virtualizationstuff.


Why do you want to virtualize your infrastructure?
What parts of it will you do first? Why? Do they represent the largest savings?
What other quantifiable benefits do you get besides savings?
How much will you save in facilities costs (Space & Power)?
How much will you need to spend to virtualize for the initial phase/set up?
What is the goal in percentage to be virtualized of the first phase of an initiative?
What are the current utilization rates of the infrastructure to be virtualized?
Where do you want the utilization to be in the new environment?


What changes need to be made to the facilities to support a consolidation?
What will the footprint need to be to support the new environment?
Do you have the resources to support the project?
How will you or departments pay for the project?
What do the builds need to look like? For what application(s)?
Who will pay what?


What ‘what if’ scenarios are a top concern?
What happens if the project is wildly successful?
What happens if the project is wildly unsuccessful?
When will you max out capacity?
What are the costs to add capacity/elasticity?
What are the impacts to the financial models?

How many licenses do you need?
What is the impact to application licensing?
Is there anything not supported?
Who will pay for these? How will you chargeback?


Deploy the infrastructure to capture largest savings first
Deploy the monitoring/chargeback mechanism
Track savings and expenditures
Broadcast successes and challenges at regular intervals
Perform post mortems at the end of each phase


Quarterly snapshot audits communicated to business units/departments
Publish results to dashboards for Finance and Operations to consume
Leverage data to support comp plans and bonus structure
What else can be done to increase operational efficiencies?

There will be more published around this methodology, and the importance of politics in an initiative, and how to factor them out of yours.

If you would like to engage us we have two offerings built around the methodology:

1. Vproof is an engagement utilizing our ROI models to extract data that will drive sound business decisions by both IT and Finance.
2. Vcolo which is adding capacity inside your existing data centers and providing a virtual colocation model whereby you will grow capacity inside your 4 walls

Pricing is based on desired results, size of environment, and value delivered. Average engagements are 2-4 weeks and cost $40,000-100,000.

To learn more contact us at