Great Virtualization Recommendations article

I came across a great article that I want to post apart of and share.

As the transition to virtualized architecture continues to accelerate, companies are learning that its benefits don’t come without pitfalls. Simply setting up a virtualized environment and throwing the existing application inventory into it is insufficient. Ill-planned implementations like this could expose the organization to unacceptable risk.

As compelling as it may seem to collapse multiple conventional servers into relatively few virtualized ones, doing so will impact nearly all facets of IT infrastructure. The application inventory, for example, will be affected by any transition to virtualization, as not all software can tolerate the new environment.

Far-Reaching Implications

The effects of a virtualization implementation extend beyond applications to processes, as well. Disaster recovery plans will need to be rewritten to ensure they are optimized for a virtualized architecture. Monitoring processes will also have to evolve, as will storage solutions and strategies. The far-reaching effects of virtualization highlight the critical need to have extensive plans in place before anything goes virtual.

“Your strategy should present an overview of the current business and IT pains you are looking to solve through your virtualization implementation,” says Ilan Paretsky, vice president of marketing for Ericom (www.ericom.com). “As difficult as it is, your strategy should incorporate your IT road map for the next five years, or at least the guidelines and highlights of such.”

The strategy must incorporate organizational impacts as well as the harder technology-focused ones. Mike Strohl, president of Entisys Solutions (www.entisys.com), a virtualization solutions integrator, says virtualization rewrites the rules that governed how servers, storage, and networking were used in the previrtualization era.

“Departments that had traditionally been in silos are suddenly intertwined,” says Strohl. “Failure to identify this and plan the technology can result in bottlenecks and disaster.”

Governance is a key component of this process because virtualized environments can scale much more quickly than traditional ones. Strohl recommends holding sessions involving stakeholders from all affected business areas and IT to ensure they understand how virtualization increases the need for them to work together and how they’ll build policy frameworks to properly manage provisioning and acceptance in the new shared technology environment.

“Without proper governance in place, a well-built system can be quickly overloaded, creating the perception that the virtual environment is not mature enough,” says Strohl. “Proper planning and understanding is everything.”

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