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Making the Business Case for File Server Consolidation with WPNAS

By William Coleman,2014-04-18 17:41
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Most companies will want to handle this as part of the consolidation. The ability to easily identify duplicate, orphaned, inappropriate, or unused data

    Making the Business Case for File Server Consolidation with Windows? Storage Server 2003

By Microsoft Corporation and Quest Software

Published: September 2003

Abstract

    Consolidating servers to place the organization’s workload onto a smaller number of network attached storage (NAS) devices based on Windows Storage Server 2003 is an increasingly popular concept; however, it can be difficult to gather hard data to make the business case for doing so. This paper describes a process that allows you to gather the necessary data to build a business case to get sponsorship for server consolidation projects.

     The information contained in this document represents the current view of Microsoft Corporation on the issues discussed as of the date of publication. Because Microsoft must respond to changing market conditions, it should not be interpreted to be a commitment on the part of Microsoft, and Microsoft cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information presented after the date of publication.

    This White Paper is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS, IMPLIED OR STATUTORY, AS TO THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT.

    Complying with all applicable copyright laws is the responsibility of the user. Without limiting the rights under copyright, no part of this document may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), or for any purpose, without the express written permission of Microsoft Corporation.

    Microsoft may have patents, patent applications, trademarks, copyrights, or other intellectual property rights covering subject matter in this document. Except as expressly provided in any written license agreement from Microsoft, the furnishing of this document does not give you any license to these patents, trademarks, copyrights, or other intellectual property.

    Unless otherwise noted, the example companies, organizations, products, domain names, e-mail addresses, logos, people, places and events depicted herein are fictitious, and no association with any real company, organization, product, domain name, email address, logo, person, place or event is intended or should be inferred.

    ? 2003 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

    Active Directory, Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT, and Windows Powered are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

    Quest, Fastlane, and Fastlane Consolidator are registered trademarks of Quest Software Inc. and are used with permission of the trademark owner.

    The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

    1

Contents

    Introduction .................................................................................................................................1 Why Consolidate? .......................................................................................................................2 Market Trends ........................................................................................................................2 Business and Technical Drivers for Consolidation .................................................................2 Benefits of Windows Storage Server 2003 .............................................................................3 Benefits of FastLane Consolidator .........................................................................................5 Making the Business Case for Consolidation .........................................................................6 Gathering Initial Requirements ...................................................................................................8 Requirements for Consolidation .............................................................................................8 Determining What Can Be Consolidated ................................................................................8 Selecting Objective Measures ................................................................................................8 Completing Your Consolidation Plan ........................................................................................10 Performing a Server Utilization Review ................................................................................10 Performing a Storage Utilization Review ..............................................................................10 Performing a Rationalization Review ....................................................................................13 Optimizing Storage Resources .............................................................................................13 A Typical Consolidation TCO Justification ................................................................................14 Summary ...................................................................................................................................15 Related Links ............................................................................................................................16

    2

Introduction

    As organizations attempt to keep up with ever growing strage requirements, the need for proactive management and tools has become evident to all. The default storage solution for many organization has been to just add more storage. This method provides a simple and relatively cheap (at least initially) solution. But many organizations have reached the critical management threshold where storage is consuming a larger and larger percentage of the IT budget.

    Very few companies have a long-term data management strategy or any kind of organized storage plan. The result? Companies are now struggling with the headaches of unnecessarily large server counts: increased hardware maintenance and support expenses, high maintenance and support overhead, increased software license costs, and needless administrative workload.

    What is driving companies to examine and solve this problem now? Estimates from the META Group indicate that organizations typically spend $5-7 on maintenance and lifecycle support for every $1 of hardware purchased. In other words, disk space is cheap, but the cost of managing the data stored on it is not. What’s more, there does not appear to be any

    immediate relief in sight; META Group is predicting that most companies will experience an average of 40-60 percent storage growth throughout 2003, while in the same timeframe, their IT budgets will shrink 3-5 percent. The gap between these two growth rates is driving companies to identify steps they can take that will reduce storage management costs while optimizing their current environment.

    Consolidating servers to place the organization’s workload onto a smaller number of network

    attached storage (NAS) devices based on Windows? Storage Server 2003 is an increasingly popular concept, but it can be difficult to gather hard data to make the business case for doing so. This paper describes a process that allows you to gather the necessary data to build a business case to get sponsorship for server consolidation projects.

    1 Making the Business Case for File Server Consolidation with Windows Storage Server 2003 1

Why Consolidate?

    Over the last 20 years, most IT organizations have evolved from providing highly centralized,

    mainframe-based services to providing services by deploying many decentralized servers in

    various physical locations. This change makes sense because it allowed the provision of

    service to move ―near‖ the users who needed it. Unfortunately, this model also had some

    undesirable results: too many servers, each of which requires maintenance, software licenses,

    support, and administration.

    Market Trends

    With the incredible growth in hardware capacity (and corresponding reductions in unit costs for

    processing power, network bandwidth, and storage), it is now cost-effective to combine data

    from multiple small servers and replace them with a smaller number of more scalable servers.

    Hardware manufacturers have little incentive to sell workgroup/departmental servers on a one-

    for-one replacement basis; instead, they are focusing much of their product development and

    marketing effort on larger, more powerful (and more lucrative) servers that are well-suited for

    consolidation. These large-scale devices are dedicated for file serving, and they offer higher

    availability and better performance at very affordable prices. This provides companies with the

    option to reduce the number of file servers in the network and reduce overall storage

    management costs significantly.

    One other current trend to consider is the deployment of these dedicated devices as part of a

    migration to Active Directory? or Exchange 2000/2003. Many companies will benefit from

    immediate TCO reduction if they can reduce the number of storage solutions in the

    environment and take advantage of more powerful operating systems, increasing the number

    of user logons per device.

    Business and Technical Drivers for Consolidation

    There are five primary drivers behind most server consolidation projects. These drivers

    influence when consolidation occurs, how it’s performed, how much has to be budgeted for the

    work, and how long it takes to complete. The five drivers are:

    1. Reducing operating costs. Cost reduction is usually the initial factor that drives the start

    of consolidation projects. Costs can be reduced by lowering the number of servers that

    have to be purchased, installed, and maintained; this reduction lowers both acquisition

    and ongoing maintenance costs for server capacity. The Gartner Group has reported data

    showing that boosting the user count from 75/server to 300/server (a 4:1 consolidation)

    lowers per-server total cost of ownership (TCO) by 44 percent. The scalability of Windows

    Storage Server 2003 means that many organizations can consolidate at higher ratios

    (above 12:1 in some cases), further lowering TCO.

    2. Improving network performance. Reducing the number of servers can improve overall

    network performance by reducing the amount of replication and communication traffic

    between servers. In addition, upgrading to purpose-built Windows Storage Server

    hardware usually provides better network throughput, because these devices are

    engineered specifically for network performance. In particular, most vendors include

    Gigabit Ethernet as part of their Windows Storage Server devices, providing up to 10

    times the throughput of existing 100 megabits per second (Mbps) local area networks

    (LANs). 3. Improving security. Reducing the number of servers improves security by lowering the

    number of systems that have to be maintained and patched. In addition, physical security

    2 Making the Business Case for File Server Consolidation with Windows Storage Server 2003 2

    can be improved by moving the servers to a more secure physical space instead of their

    distributed departmental or workgroup locations. Consolidated servers may also offer

    services such as the Windows Encrypting File System (EFS) that often aren’t available on

    other NAS or storage area network (SAN) hardware. 4. Easing business continuance planning. When critical data are widely distributed on

    multiple servers, it’s difficult to develop and execute business continuance plans and

    maintain a cost-efficient model. These plans depend on knowing which critical items exist,

    where they’re located, and how they are protected—all of which, in turn, depend on being

    able to effectively audit and manage them. 5. Enabling better capacity planning and data management. Most aspects of capacity

    planning and data management get easier as the number of servers with stored data

    decreases. It becomes feasible for administration teams to provide the same service

    levels with fewer devices if they use the right tools. This in turn frees up their time for

    activities such as trending server growth and predicting capacity requirements, identifying

    and handling junk data, performing data load balancing, planning for upgrades, tracking

    inventory, performing backups, and offloading unused data. This transforms storage

    management from a reactive process to a proactive one, making it possible to maintain an

    optimized environment while keeping storage management costs in check.

    Benefits of Windows Storage Server 2003

    The Windows Storage Server 2003 platform is perfect for server and data consolidation

    projects; it’s designed to offer low storage costs and high scalability. Windows Storage Server

    devices have some key advantages over ordinary file servers. Figure 1 shows a sample

    consolidation.

    Figure 1: Consolidating multiple file servers onto a single Windows Storage Server 2003 device

Lower Storage Costs

    With Windows Storage Server 2003 units, you get dedicated file and print servers without the

    additional (and expensive) baggage included with conventional servers. Windows Storage

    Server devices offer significantly lower acquisition and maintenance costs over their lifetime,

    not just at purchase time; clients attaching to Windows Storage Server devices don’t need

    client access licenses (CALs). Storage purchase costs can be as low as $0.02/MB ($2/GB).

    Reliable and Available

    The Windows Storage Server 2003 software is tuned for fast network performance and high

    reliability. Hardware manufacturers supplement this robustness with hardware features such

    as hot-swappable disk drives and redundant power supplies. Windows Storage Server devices

    can be clustered, and they offer replication services to make distributed copies of critical data

    across multiple servers. You can choose from single- or dual-processor servers with 100

    3 Making the Business Case for File Server Consolidation with Windows Storage Server 2003 3

Mbps or Gigabit Ethernet connections; some vendors offer optional high-performance caching

    redundant array of independent disks (RAID) controllers to further boost disk throughput.

    Easy To Deploy and Manage

    Windows Storage Server 2003 devices offer industry-leading ease of deployment and

    management. Building on Microsoft’s work in making Windows deployments simpler and more

    straightforward, Windows Storage Server servers offer pre-configured solutions with browser-

    based configuration tools. In many cases, installation is a simple matter of plugging in the

    device, telling it what domain to join, and moving files to it.

    The Windows Storage Server platform is one of the hardware solutions to include a storage

    resource management (SRM) solution. The Storage Manager component provides the

    following user, directory, and volume-based disk quotas and file type management:

    ? Disk quota management enables administrators to place ceilings on the amount of

    data individuals or groups can store on corporate resources. By placing limitations on

    the amount of data that can be stored on network drives, users must assume

    responsibility for regular reviews and clean up of their own data, or face the time when

    they will no longer be able to store more files without removing what is no longer

    required. Many companies have placed quota management on message systems,

    limiting the size of a mailbox. Users are prevented from sending new messages until

    the mailbox is reduced in size, either through archiving, purging, or another method. It

    is a similar process with data quota management and a concept that users are not

    unfamiliar with given the messaging system example.

    ? File type management functionality lets administrators create rules that determine what

    types of files users are permitted to store on corporate resources. This enables pro-

    active management in that inappropriate file types, such as games, movies, and MP3

    music files, can be prevented from wasting corporate disk space in the first place. This

    helps ensure that only business-related files are stored on corporate resources and

    leads to a cost effective storage management policy and environment. Storage Manager also provides a wealth of reporting and filtering features that make it

    possible to keep tabs on how much space is being used, who’s using it, and what’s being

    stored there. This ongoing analysis process complements the data you can obtain from

    FastLane? Consolidator by giving you quick information on quota utilization and disk

    consumption.

    Enterprise Integration

    Windows Storage Server devices are designed to seamlessly integrate into enterprise

    networks of any size. This integration comes from two fundamental design principles:

    ? Complete Windows integration. Windows Storage Server devices are full members

    of your Active Directory infrastructure. They can be targets of security policies and

    Group Policy Objects, just as with conventional servers. This provides a consistent

    security and management framework. Windows Storage Server devices also support

    key security services, including Kerberos authentication and the IP Security (IPsec)

    protocol extensions. The anti-virus, maintenance, and backup utilities you’ve already

    bought can run on Windows Storage Server servers, preserving your infrastructure

    investment.

    ? Complete support for heterogeneous networks. Windows Storage Server devices

    support the industry-standard common Internet file system (CIFS) protocol, and they

    can be managed with browser-based tools so that no Windows infrastructure is

    required to use them. Windows Storage Server devices also support Novell NetWare

    clients, Macintosh clients through AppleTalk or TCP/IP, and UNIX/Linux clients through

    NFS or CIFS. For these clients, Windows Storage Server devices appear as native file

    servers that are seamlessly integrated with the client OS.

    4 Making the Business Case for File Server Consolidation with Windows Storage Server 2003 4

Wide Range of Hardware Choices

    More than 30 of the world’s leading hardware manufacturers are members of Microsoft’s OEM

    partner program for Windows Storage Server, including Dell, HP, Iomega, and NEC. This

    diversity gives you the ability to pick the right hardware performance and cost levels for your

    needs, and because Windows Storage Server devices look like Windows servers on the

    network, moving up to larger servers when necessary is easy.

    Benefits of FastLane Consolidator

    Most administrators don’t realize it, but migrating data between file servers is a complex

    process. A proper consolidation will migrate data and shares from one server to another while

    preserving security on files and folders and allowing users to work with their data whenever

    they need it. Quest’s FastLane Consolidator product eases this process by providing an all-in-

    one solution that addresses the biggest requirements for migrations:

    ? The Storage Analyzer provides data analytics required for project planning and

    assisting with ongoing data administration activities. These reports identify where and

    how storage is being used so that administrators can effectively plan a migration that

    delivers the best possible consolidation.

    ? The data migration component moves data online. Usersnever lose the ability to work

    with their network files even as they are being movedMigrations can be scheduled to

    launch and sync at specified times, and the amount of network bandwidth used during

    the migration can be controlled. Delta-based synchronizations ensure that only the

    changes are re-migrated. Files, folders, and shares can be migrated, and their security

    and access information (including the ―last accessed‖ timestamp) are preserved.

    ? Built-in utilities automatically update users’ desktops and profiles so that their working

    environment remains seamless. This removes the need for administrators to make

    visits to individual workstations to perform these updates manually, saving time and

    money

    FastLane Consolidatordatabase/analysisserver

    Optional

    FastLane Consolidatorremote clients

    Source file servers

    Windows Powered NAStarget servers

    Figure 2: FastLane Consolidator automates the process of migrating data and security from file servers to centralized storage

    Figure 2 shows a sample of how FastLane Consolidator can be deployed. The product is

    installed on a ―database‖ server. All migration and storage metrics information is stored

    centrally on this device, usually in a SQL database. The migration component leverages small

    5 Making the Business Case for File Server Consolidation with Windows Storage Server 2003 5

DCOM agents which, according to best practice, are deployed to both the ―source‖ server –

    where data is being migrated from, and the ―target‖ Windows Storage Server 2003 device.

    Deploying the optional DCOM agents ensures a direct data migration path between the two

    storage devices, reducing network drag and bandwidth waste. It also ensure optimial

    performance. The Storage Analyzer component of FastLane Consolidator is agentless.

    The inability to deliver any one of these three requirements means the introduction of manual

    scripts or processes. These ad hoc components have three drawbacks: they add to the time to

    complete the project, they increase costs, and they introduce risk of error. The work necessary

    for migration may seem simple at first, but even updating user desktops is a potential

    minefield. A complete desktop update means correcting items such as OLE links, drive

    mappings, and desktop shortcuts so users have no trouble accessing data from the new

    storage device.

    FastLane Consolidator also provides another important benefit: the ability to monitor the

    effects of a consolidation after it has taken place. Even after the initial consolidation,

    administrators need to be diligent about maintaining the optimized environment they’ve

    consolidated. This means that they need to perform periodic reviews of network data usage so

    they can plan capacity, identify and recover wasted space, move home directories, offload

    unused data, and perform other housekeeping tasks. Some of these activities lead them back

    to consolidation-related changes. This ongoing process is made much easier by a

    combination of tools; FastLane Consolidator complements quota management and policy

    enforcement tools to make this ongoing assessment and monitoring work smoothly.

    Making the Business Case for Consolidation

    The technical and cost saving benefits of deploying Windows Storage Server 2003 and

    performing server consolidation as part of your data management strategy are clear. However,

    the next hurdle in implementing a consolidation project is getting your consolidation project

    funded. Making the business case justification for a consolidation project is more complex

    than it may appear.

    The basic concept behind consolidation is simple to explain: reducing the number of file

    servers into the network by deploying dedicated Windows Storage Server solutions and

    consolidating legacy data reduces the amount of hardware, software license, maintenance,

    support, and administration costs. As a result, storage management costs are reduced. These

    benefits are often synergistic; for example, when Continental Airlines consolidated onto

    Windows Storage Server devices, they were simultaneously able to double the amount of

    available storage while dropping their server count by 70 percent.

    However, the challenge lies in how you calculate the potential savingsespecially if you do

    not have a good handle on your current storage situation.

    In terms of consolidation projects, it would be easy to start factoring in ―hidden‖ or ―soft dollar‖

    costs or savings. While these are important considerations, they can require more time and

    effort than is needed. By keeping your justification simple and well-supported, you can more

    than justify the business case for consolidation if you can provide the following information:

    ? What is the cost of maintaining the current infrastructure and the data on it versus

    investing in Windows Storage Server and performing a consolidation? Conversely,

    you could take the approach of calculating expecting TCO savings as a result of

    having consolidated and calculate the time of cost recovery.

    ? How much can be saved by recovering wasted disk space currently housing unused

    data such as temporary, unused, orphaned, duplicate, or inappropriate files?

    ? How long will it take to consolidate?

    6 Making the Business Case for File Server Consolidation with Windows Storage Server 2003 6

    These questions pose a conundrum: the answers to these questions provide the business

    case justification, but without visibility into utilization and usage of your current storage

    situation, how do you get them? 7 Making the Business Case for File Server Consolidation with Windows Storage Server 2003 7

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