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Virtual servers boost ITS capacity

January 31, 2013

Virtual server technologyWhen Blackboard became sluggish during the end-of-the-semester crunch in fall 2012, the obvious solution was to add two more physical servers.

To write a purchase order, have it approved, send it to a vendor, receive the servers and set them up would normally take about six weeks.

Fortunately, ITS had a much faster way to add server capacity: virtual server technology. Two virtual Blackboard servers were up and running within two days, which would have been impossible without this technology.

Virtual server technology allows one physical server to host 20 to 25 virtual servers. Each virtual server is custom-built for an application’s requirements and can run for a week, a month, a year or more.

Furthermore, the resources on a virtual server can be adjusted in response to spikes in demand for resources such as CPU, memory or storage. NIU initiatives such as Anywhere Lab and Anywhere Printing, and NIU enterprise applications such as Blackboard, GroupWise, Mobility Connector, OnBase and PeopleSoft all have virtual server components.

Virtual server technology is green

Additional Year Server CostServers require a significant amount of electricity to operate. They generate a lot of heat, so more electricity is needed to keep the servers cool.

When virtual server technology is used, ITS can achieve an 80 to 90 percent reduction in energy use compared to the old physical servers. This is due to the new ability to consolidate 20 to 25 legacy server workloads to one physical server.

And the data center, which was running out of physical space, electrical resources and network connections, now has room to grow.

ITS hosted virtual servers at your service

  • ITS hosted virtual servers are custom-built for your application. Implementation takes approximately one week.
  • ITS maintains the host server and its physical environment, applies patches and updates and creates backups.
  • To maintain uninterrupted service, virtual servers are monitored 24/7/365. If there is a hardware failure, your virtual server will move to another host server. If a host server becomes overloaded, virtual servers are automatically redistributed to other servers with no interruption in service.

For more information, call (815) 753-8100 or email [email protected].