Council makes 82% power saving with virtual servers

The London Borough of Hillingdon is on course to cut its power requirements for legacy servers by 82% after using virtualisation software to consolidate 40 servers onto three.

The London Borough of Hillingdon is on course to cut its power requirements for legacy servers by 82% after using virtualisation software to consolidate 40 servers onto three.

The council is halfway through a two-year project to virtualise 70 legacy servers. Data from the 40 servers already virtualised is now held on three HP DL585 servers with AMD dual-core processors.

The power consumed by the new servers is 3,450 kilovolt amperes (kVAs) per annum, compared with the 18,720 kVAs used by the 40 legacy servers - an 82% reduction.

Hillingdon's IT department said it was unable to put a final figure on the cost savings, but the project is expected to pay for itself relatively quickly.

Beth Hague, project manager at the council, said, "Our target was the old NT4 legacy systems because the old hardware was almost impossible to maintain. Now we have proven the concept with the legacy servers, we are looking at production applications."

The council's call centre application, Onyx eShop, was the first to be virtualised, using software from VMware. The domain controllers have also been migrated.

An application for regulating private property will be virtualised before the end of the financial year, but the council has no plans to virtualise its largest systems.

Hague said, "Virtualising servers can be an expensive way of using VMware. We are trying to capture systems when they are new applications for the council."

Hillingdon's finance, payroll, personnel and council tax collection systems will also stay on legacy servers because the council has outsourced them to Northgate. The council's contract with its previous outsourcing supplier came to an end at the start of the virtualisation project, before the IT function was ready to insource and virtualise the applications.

Read article: Cost of Government IT - What happened to our £25bn


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