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IT Efficiency

Robin Johnson, Dell’s CIO, speaks to how we are driving efficiency through virtualization.

Two years ago, the company was considering building an additional datacentre at the cost of $200m to $300m.

Now, thanks to virtualisation, the company has boosted processor utilisation rates beyond the 20 per cent it was getting previously and it plans to decommission about 8,000 servers by January 2010 – just under a third of its 25,000-strong server estate.

"The question was ‘How can we use the 80 per cent of the server [processing power] that is not being utilised?’.

"We went down a very aggressive virtualisation path and are achieving consolidation ratios between 5 to 1 and 10 to 1, depending on the class of application.

"We have gone from an ever-expanding infrastructure footprint and needing an extra datacentre, to closing down two datacentres this year."

.. The company has also invested in other efficient technologies, with thin client devices used by about five per cent of its 10,000 desktop users and virtual desktop software deployed in all of its call centres.

Johnson said the company is approaching the point where only 50 per cent of the IT budget is spent on running its systems, lower than the industry norm of 70 per cent.

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