Using Virtual Machines to run applications


Segment    Family    Class




SDG Alignment

9. Build Resilient Infrastructure, Promote Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization and Foster Innovation

UN SDG Target


Target Description

By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities

Level of Effort

Level of Effort Scale


1 -Quick Wins: solution involves adding criteria for the good or service being purchased (ex: certifications), minimal internal process changes.

2 -Long Term Adoption: solution requires some changes to internal processes and/or more capital investment (ex: digital transformation to reduce paper use).

3 – Disruptive Opportunities: requires significant investment and changes to internal processes (ex: retrofitting building)

Category Assessment


• Perform Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) assessment for your data center and assess the infrastructure/architecture of the software.

• Risks: Data security especially with cloud software and data center hot spots.

• Mitigation: Single Sign-On (SSO) authentication, purchasing cybersecurity software, and assigning supplier accountability through contract terms.

Opportunity Identification 

Requires less power for each virtual machine, reduces downtime (if one server is down, can shift virtual machines to another server), and provides data backup (virtual hard disk if the system crashes).

Maximizes the use of servers, can run more than one virtual machine on one server, work with HVAC specialists to ensure the data center is properly cooled. For example, using virtualization to run 54 virtual servers on 8 physical hosts, a study declared it was able to reduce demand by 20 kW and save $22,000 in energy annually.

Strategy Build & Execution

• Identify servers that should not be considered for virtualization.

• Group remaining servers by workloads.

• Estimate the processor resources required.

• Create a change management strategy to ensure that the business-critical applications stay running as needed and data files won't be lost in case of error or crash.

• Create a bid package to evaluate suppliers that can offer virtualization implementation services, alternatively identify whether your IT department has the capacity to implement the change.

• Evaluate the market for virtualization servers.

• Once the supplier is awarded, execute change management strategy, and monitor value creation.

Supplier Negotiation & Contract

• For leverage, if outsourcing the implementation, consider consolidating server purchase and implementation in the same package. Ideally, this will give you more leverage to negotiate a more beneficial agreement.

• In the contract, identify if there is an opportunity for a refurbishment program (rebates for returning old servers), include a guaranteed service level and penalties if they are not met. Strategize a contingency for when servers become out of commission and consider negotiating a future capped rate for purchases outside of warranty from the supplier.

Supplier Performance & Management

• Quarterly reporting on server performance (downtime, processing speed, etc.) and spend analysis (maintenance, replacement, etc.).

• Track the progress of energy saved from utilizing virtual machines, make note of operation improvements and integrate the data into your regular reports. The building efficiency improvements with improved HVAC equipment should be eligible for LEED building certification consideration; discuss with internal stakeholders to see if it is in your best interest to get audited for LEED certifications.

Resource Links

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