MK-2 (10th November 2010)
Just found this, which might help as well - Several ways to explain virtualization to a non-techie person | Expert Data Labs Blog
While I think my favourite is the subway one, the final hotel analogy probably explains it best.
Last edited by jamesb; 10th November 2010 at 10:41 AM.
Show them. Take them to see all of your current servers and explain that you can condense them all down into one box, then tell them the benefits. Don't treat them like children, if they really are that interested in how it works, tell them in real terms, i feel that if you try to use analogies its often more confusing. If you start talking about 'these tables are less sturdy than this one bigger table' and 'filing cabinets that have one drawer and this filing cabinet that has more drawers' they are definitely going to glaze over. I would.
To speak to governors I'd say:
Less maintenance costs, one server as opposed to several servers to buy parts for.
Less energy usage as one server power is less than many servers*
Getting more bang for your buck, utilising a server to its full potential rather than 5 servers performing at 50%, 1 server at near full capacity
Less space required for 1 server as opposed to several.
Easy to backup/restore an instance of a VM (good for your DRP and business continuation).
Initial outlay might be a bit more than you'd hope but you'd recoup over time with energy consumption, less maintenance & you're getting good value out of the server you've bought.
To explain how it works...
we did try to explain it in real terms to one governor and like i say, she glazed over and didnt understand us saying servers with multiple roles and having one physical server with 5 virtual servers. she found it hard to envision that.
so its not treating them like children, its trying to explain it in a sense they will understand without just saying
"this big box of junk will run those smaller boxes of junk" and dumbing down too much.
the room/person/warehouse and russian doll analogies give ideas of how it works without patronising too much i think.
and james, thanks for that link, definitely some ones in there we could hit on!
The following is fairly easy to understand.
A Physical Server = An office.
An Operating System Install = A Worker
On a non virtualised system, you have your office, and in that office you can only install one worker. The chances are, your office is massive, it might even be a whole three story building, and your worker only uses one tiny corner of it. Thus you are wasting a large amount of money, buying an office, heating an office, lighting an office, paying the phone bill in an office, hiring a security guard for your office, etc, etc all to satisfy the needs of one worker. If you want a second worker, you have to buy a second office!! Ouch!!! Also imagine that the worker (o/s) is tied inextricably to the office. You can't easily move a worker between offices - they have their office and that is where they must stay.
Now - imagine the virtualised set up thus:
A physical server with virtualisation software = An Office
A Virtual Server = A worker.
This is where you can start to visualise your possible benefits and savings.
Now we have our office and in it we can partition the office many times over, and in each partition we can fit one worker. We have instantly gone from being stuck with one worker in our three story office, to being able to fit say 30 workers into our office. Now, your seeing big cost savings in purchase cost and in running costs. Also - thanks to the magic of virtualisation software, if you have a new worker, you can fit them into an existing office rather than having to buy a new office. You can effectively, squish the other 30 worker's partitions closer in order to fit one more worker in. Easy. Also - you can move workers between offices at the click of the mouse. If one office has a problem (water leak) your workers can effectively drive to one of your other offices and carry on working with minimal disruption.
Does that make sense??
I guess you can simplify the above analogy right down to basics, a couple of lines if you need to get it across to a totally IT illiterate person.
Analogy wot I just thunk of: Imagine you're organising a wedding. To take everyone from the ceremony to the reception do you hire a fleet of taxis, or just pile everyone onto a coach?
Imagine you have 10 small offices in 10 small buildings. Now imagine buying 1 big building and putting 20 office in it with 6 offices worth of staff for the whole building. Still with me? Now you can shut all those 10 small buildings with single offices and use 1 over worked big building instead.
I'd go with "It's ruddy clever, it can save a potfull of cash, uses less electric, less aircon, is less expensive to fix, and is easier and safer".
one i'd use is that servers become like word documents, so you have the flexibility to move them and load them on different servers. This gives you better pricing in licensing, more flexibility with hardware , better power savings, and faster disaster recovery.
There are videos on YouTube which explain it. Search "Server Virtualisation Made Simple" - for example
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