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Figure : nPiV restores Virtual Machine connectivity

c server consolidation yielding a dramatic increase in server hardware utilization. Users report going from 15-20% up to 75 to 80% usage, with a proportional increase in server return on investment and reduction in management and maintenance overhead.

c Faster, flexible provisioning for new applications, as well as dynamic resizing of servers for growing applications, as well as development and test platforms.

c cost effective test bed deployment of new applications

c easier workload balancing, incident resumption and disaster recovery, as “virtual machines” are more readily portable to alternate hardware resources, and offer tools to automate these operations.

However, this consolidation has had its cost in fabric and storage connectivity. As multiple virtualized servers share the same Fibre Channel attachments (host bus adapters), they lose individual fabric registration, and the use of services connected to this registration, including individual zoning, array LUN masking and mapping, and fabric quality of service. A few of these services are replaced by virtual server mechanisms (resulting in two sets of processes and skills to accomplish similar tasks), while other features available on free-standing servers are simply lost once these servers get virtualized, creating major limitations in virtualizing large, mission-critical production environments.

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