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In a prior blog post, we discussed the savings possible by  cleaning up after transient applications that have a limited lifespan of hours or days.  However, cleaning up after applications you thought were permanent can be even more challenging.  But that does not mean you have to live with the added cost of inefficient hardware utilization caused by inactive and abandoned resources.  In this three part series we look  how to identify the problem, understand the cost of your current process, and learn how VMware vCloud Automation Center can help you reduce cost by improving IT efficiency. 

How bad is your virtual machine sprawl problem?

Like most companies, you probably have some percentage of your compute infrastructure that is not being used for one reason or another.  The problem here is that reclaiming inactive, abandoned, and stranded capacity can be such a labor-intensive and time-consuming process that it is performed infrequently­–if at all. Inactive machines tend to stay around longer and unnecessarily consume more resources than if an efficient reclamation process were in place.  Most companies we work with estimate at least 10% of their permanent infrastructure is consumed by machines no longer being used.

For example, one system administrator told me that in the last three years they had virtualized over 70% of their infrastructure and had over 500 virtual machines under management.  During those three years they had not deleted or reclaimed any machines.  Yes, she knew there were inefficiencies, but she thought virtualizing more of her infrastructure would leave  her little time to address the challenges of sprawl.  Her goal of deploying an efficient private cloud infrastructure was to eliminate inactive machines in order to reduce the number of active machines to less than 400.  Companies deploying virtual desktops find that the wasted resources are even greater than their server infrastructure, because desktops tend to be more dynamic with employees constantly coming and going.   Without the appropriate controls, the potential for waste is great! Without automation to facilitate the cleanup, you are required to rely on manual cleanup –which ends up not being the most efficient route.

Quantifying the Savings Potential

A company with 1,000 VMs  that has 10% inactive or abandon is spending and additional $120,000 annually on resources that are not being used.  How large is your environment and how much do you think your company could save by more efficient resource reclamation?  Like to learn more about automated resource reclamation?  Check out Part 2 – The Cost of Manual Resource Reclamation

Learn more about vCloud Automation Center and how automating cloud service delivery can cut cost while accelerating access to IT applications and resources.

Need help deploying your private cloud infrastructure or developing your business justification? Contact us and our experts can help your team build the business case and the solution that will maximize your IT productivity.  Follow us on Twitter: @vmwarecloudauto.  Subscribe to the VMware IT Management blog for exclusive content and updates.

Need help deploying your private cloud infrastructure or developing your business justification? Contact us and our experts can help your team build the business case and the solution to maximize your IT productivity.

For exclusive content and updates, follow us on Twitter @vmwarecloudauto and subscribe to our VMware IT Management blog.