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Minimise physical space usage with virtualisation

Jack Loo | July 23, 2013
Virtualisation is an important element of Resorts World Sentosa’s server and desktop strategy

"I would say that Resorts World's consolidation ratio is really advanced. Typically when you start looking at server consolidation ratios, you are looking at 4 or 5:1 ratios," says Hardman.

"So when you are looking at 10:1, it's really advanced. They have got it down to a point where they've already moved beyond the basics of virtualisation. You're moving beyond basic workloads and into your Tier 2 and Tier 3 applications. You're going up to mission critical," says Hardman.

Being able to reduce the number of physical servers also cut down the amount of energy required for cooling, says Yap. "This means that your energy management is better optimised." He did not give details on the energy savings that his organisation has achieved.

Tackling the space constraint also contributed to making the Resorts World Sentosa data centre an energy efficient facility. In fact, the organisation became part of a pioneer group that achieved the Singapore Standard for Green DC certification in 2011. 

According to Yap, his virtualisation strategy is not limited to servers but extends to desktops as well. He employed desktop virtualisation with VMware's View in the following areas.

Resorts World Sentosa deployed 30 self-service kiosks in its employee cafeterias that allow 6,000 workers to log into the organisation's human resource self-service portal to check payslips and manage rosters and leave allocation. These records can also be printed from printers located at the cafeterias.

Higher Learning

There is also an e-learning laboratory with 25 thin clients running on VMware View for Resorts World Sentosa employees.

"Imagine that in the past, each stand-alone PC in the classroom had all the course materials in the drive, so whenever there was any change in any courseware, you had to go to all the PCs and load with the master disc," says Yap.

"So with this, you only change once at the back-end, and all you have to do is go and fetch your courseware through the VDI screen," says Yap.

Resorts World Sentosa also installed some 25 virtual desktops for its call centre in Manila, Philippines. There is no need to provide resources to support the Manila location, according to Yap. "So through the VDI machine that is stored in a remote location, they are able to come into our application and environment to execute all those applications that needs to be performed when they answer to customers' queries for booking and for facilities, promotions and so forth," he says.

Besides efficient space utilisation and productivity gains, virtualisation technology transforms the way how Yap's team support Resorts World Sentosa's business units.

If the organisation were to depend on just physical servers, a business unit looking to access infrastructure resources to develop applications would need to wait four to six weeks for IT to order and install a new machine.


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