Reasons for Moving to Virtualization

If you’re trying to decide if virtualization is right for your organization, whether from an economic or technological standpoint, consider these reasons for taking the virtualization plunge.

Types of Virtualization

Currently, most of the activity in the virtualization world focuses on server virtualization the data center. The three main types of server virtualization are:

Operating system virtualization
(aka containers) Creates self-contained representations of underlying operating system in order to provide applications in isolated execution environments. Each self-contained environment (container) reflects the underlying operating system version and patch level.
Hardware emulation
Represents a computer hardware environment in software so that multiple operating systems can be installed on a single computer.
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A thin software layer that coordinates access from multiple operating systems to underlying hardware.
Virtualization reduces the number of servers you have to run, which means savings on hardware costs and also on the total amount of energy needed to run hardware and provide cooling.
Virtualization is a green technology through and through. Energy savings brought on by widespread adoption of virtualization technologies would negate the need to build so many power plants and would thus conserve our earth’s energy resources.
With virtualization in place, system administrators would not have to support so many machines and could then move from firefighting to more strategic administration tasks.
Virtualization enables higher utilization rates of hardware because each server supports enough virtual machines to increase its utilization from the typical 15% to as much as 80%.
With software vendors tending more and more towards delivering their products preinstalled in virtual machines (also known as virtual appliances), much of the traditional installation and configuration work associated with software will disappear.

Virtualization Project Steps

After you’ve evaluated virtualization and want to move forward with it, it’s time to implement a virtualization plan. Don’t jump right in, the first steps are to create a virtualization project using these five steps:

  1. Evaluate your current server workloads.

    Determine whether virtualization can help you and figure out what your potential virtualization use cases might be.

  2. Define your system architecture.

    What form of virtualization will you use?

  3. Select your virtualization software and hosting hardware.

    Carefully evaluate the virtualization software’s capabilities to ensure that it supports your needs. Be sure to look at the new virtualization-enabled hardware systems.

  4. Migrate your existing servers to the new virtualization environment.

    Decide whether some of the new migration products can help you move your systems or if you need to move them manually — in either case, create a project plan to ensure everything is covered

  5. Administer your virtualized environment.

    Decide whether the virtualization product management tools are sufficient for your needs or whether you should look to more general system management tools to monitor your environment.

Stafford Associates utilizes VMware’s innovative approach to virtualization. Through industry leading cloud infrastructure and management platform VMware delivers multiple solutions that drive greater levels of flexibility, quality and performance.