I went to a really interesting presentation this morning given by Nick Coombs on behalf of ITEX, an IT Services company specialising in offshore jurisdictions. The breakfast talk was about a product called PolyServe which helps companies consolidate SQL Server instances onto a small number of machines, helping to reduce the Cost of Ownership of your SQL Server estate, while improving the manageability and availability of your SQL Server farm.
The talk started with discussing the issues that are faced by organisations running multiple systems each of which requires SQL Server. Traditionally, each of these SQL Server instances would be deployed onto a different server, which gives rise to over-provision with each server running at 5-10% load, high cost of implementing high availability and a large number of maintenance points. The two ways to address this is Virtualisation or Consolidation. Virtualisation isn’t idea for high I/O applications like database server and actually increases your maintenance points as now you have a host OS to manage besides each of your instance. Consolidation is ideal for SQL Server, but does increase the onus on availability and capacity planning. Polyserve adds a new dimension to consolidation by providing a “farm” of SQL Servers which allows administrators to dynamically rehost SQL Server instances onto each of the different hosts. Shifting hosts from one box to another typically takes around 30 seconds and can happen automatically in cast of a server failure. The bottom line is that Polyserve allows orgnisations to deploy highly manageable, resilient installations of SQL Server on less servers (resulting in lower Cost of Ownership, lower power requirements and lower license costs, etc)
The presentation was pretty interesting and you can watch this below: