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Consolidating Again and Again and Again


Consolidating Again and Again and Again

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Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Consolidating Again and Again and Again

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Jon Spink
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On the subject of consolidating SQL Server instances, we have the opposite problem of trying to arrange separate groups of databases on one machine. This is really just get round the fact that SSMS doesn't allow you to group them visually in Object Explorer. Are instances the only way to achieve this, e.g. to separate out production and testing databases?
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The company I work for was bought out so both of our companies are going through an analysis phase of consoldiation. We have more SQL Servers and databases here but they have alot as well. Over the last three months we have identified older less used servers that we can move the databases to existing beefier SQL Servers and eliminate licensing and hardware. So far we have made good progress and are about half done. Going forward all applications instead of using the servername use a dns alias which in the future will make it easier to 'move' an applications databases to another server for either further consolidation or just upgrading. All you do is move the dbs/logins/jobs and change the dns alias. No code changes, no searching to figure out how the app points to the SQL Server.



Dan Guzman - Not the MVP
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One 'could' argue that the long term cost savings in virtualization/consolidation is not having to maintain the hardware you didn't buy. The three year hardware replacement cycle savings would be huge over the long term.
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Worked on a lot of consolidation projects, seems to be more the latest buzz word rather than a concept that gives consistent results to the business. Unless it is planned properly it can be more of a cost loser rather than cost saver. maybe i'm too jaded and cynical, seen too many screwups in the pursuit of cost cutting projects by bean counters, voicing the usual words. consolidate, consolidate, consolidate.

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I think there needs to be a healthy balance in any consolidation effort. We have a TON of servers in our datacenter that run one app or host one or two small databases and the resources on that hardware average under 10% utililization. If you pick and choose the right things to consolidate it can be benefitial and make everyones job easier as you have less physical hardware to maintain and keep up to date. If you take the opposite approach and just pick things and 'force' a consolidation just to consolidate you are in putting the company at risk. We have already consolidated some small apps/databases and the consolidated servers you cannot even tell there is much more load on them. We had too many projects over the years come in and say we need X number of servers for this and that and we SHOULD have stepped in and said what are the requirments and prove you need seperate hardware first.



Steve Jones
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We had hundreds of instances at JD Edwards, and make regular efforts to consolidate things. We did not take a "everything should be consolidated approach", but rather identified underused instances, talked to business owners/clients, and then regularly would move databases together and retire old hardware or repurpose it.

There's nothing wrong with bean counters driving it, you just need IT to make good decisions and not buckle under to pressure to just combine things.

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For years I've been frustrated how often new servers were needed. "You have to add 2 + 2? OK, we'll need another server for that. "

So it's no surprise to me that now we need to talk about server consolidation.

Stick around long enough and you'll see IT go 'round in circles.

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Virtualization can save money on an ongoing basis. As already mentioned, less maintenance and upgrade cost because of less hardware. Even more so, when done correctly, it can keep apps and databases up and running despite hardware failure on a server, which serves much the same purpose as clustering/mirroring, but without the "we have a server that just sits around doing nothing but prepare for disaster". Keeping apps and web pages and databases up and running, instead of allowing for downtime, can save a company a lot of money in terms of preventing lost opportunities.

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Jeff Moden
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Still, mirroring, log shipping, or what have you to a server a couple of hundred miles away will save your company's hiney if your building is flooded, get's hit by a tornado, gets burned to the ground, blown up by a nut, or anything else that would take out the important parts of the server room.

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