The Frontier Grid Platform
Server Consolidation & Virtualization

Server Consolidation through Utilization and Virtualization

The availability of low-cost servers over the past decade has fostered a pervasive tendency among organizations to purchase computing capacity far in excess of actual demand. Studies show that aggregate server daytime utilization varies between 5-20%1. Some experts believe aggregate utilization rates fail to exceed 5% when desktops are included.2

Overcoming the Power, Space & Cooling Problem

The Frontier Enterprise Grid Platform is a great tool for reducing the power, space and cooling issues that accompany unchecked "server proliferation." By harnessing the excess capacity of existing infrastructure, Frontier can make available the 80-95% of an organization's unused computational capacity — without impacting normal operations! When HPC demand is satisfied in this way, fewer new hardware resources need to be procured and maintained, which greatly aids server consolidation efforts.

A Frontier Virtual Appliance

Additionally, the Frontier Grid Platform is available as a set of Virtual Appliances (VA), allowing easy deployment and management in virtualized environments. The Frontier Compute Engine VA can be configured to run at set times, use only a portion of available computational power, and give priority to other processes and VMs. A single Frontier Server VA can manage a grid of thousands of nodes and because it is horizontally scalable, additional Frontier Server VAs can be deployed side-by-side to dynamically accommodate grids of tens of thousands of nodes. Without affecting other applications in the data center, excess capacity can be turned into supercomputing capacity.

By exposing the full capacity of an organization's computational resources, physical or virtualized, Frontier Enterprise provides HPC capacity while simultaneously reducing power, space and cooling demands.

1 Taurus - A Taxonomy of the Actual Utilization of Real UNIX and Windows Servers, David G Heap, Principal IT Consultant, IBM Enterprise Server Group, January 2003.

2 Grid Computing in Financial Markets: Moving Beyond Compute-Intensive Applications, Larry Tabb, Tabb Group, November 2003.

Learn More about Computation on Demand®

If performance per watt is to remain constant over the next few years, power costs could easily overtake hardware costs, possibly by a large margin." Luiz Ande Barroso, Google

The complexity and inefficiency of the client-server model have fed on themselves over the last quarter century. As companies continue to add more applications, they have to expand their data centers, install new machines, reprogram old ones, and hire ever larger numbers of technicians to keep everything running. When you also take into account that businesses have to buy backup equipment in case a server or storage system fails, you realize that, as studies indicate, most of the many trillions of dollars that companies have invested into information technology have gone to waste." Nicholas Carr, The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, From Edison to Google