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Should You Virtualize Your IT Servers?

  
  
  

planet earthBy Howard Podgurski

If you are a principal owner or manager of a small or midsize organization and live on Planet Earth, it’s more than likely that your IT person or consultant has come to you in the last few years and recommended virtualizing your servers.

When you ask the question ‘why?’, this is very close to the answer you will get (or some variation of this): 5 Reasons to Virtualize Your Servers With VMware Server.

Briefly:

  1. It’s free
  2. Reduced administration burden
  3. Faster service deployment
  4. Reduced infrastructure cost
  5. More features than the competition.

On the surface, it’s a very convincing argument. If you take the next step and ask about the pitfalls involved with virtualizing your servers, you get an answer something like this: Top 11 Virtualization Pitfalls.

In summary:

  1. Detection/discovery
  2. Correlation
  3. Configuration management
  4. Additional security considerations
  5. VM identity management issues
  6. VM network configuration control
  7. Identifying and controlling VM proliferation
  8. VM host capacity planning
  9. ESX host driver and ACL information
  10. ESX host configuration management
  11. Intellectual property.

If you take the time to browse over either of these two articles, the one thing that’s obvious is that virtualization is a complex technology. So who and what do you believe? Well, both are essentially correct but neither answers the question about the business value of implementing this technology, which is where the discussion should begin. Key findings about the business value of virtualization contained in the Forrester Consulting whitepaper commissioned on behalf of VMware says that:

  • It becomes more efficient
  • Time to market for new applications and services is faster
  • IT services are more predictable
  • Organizations realize long term savings.

howard podgurski, docutech presidentSmall Business Computing has done a very good job of summarizing the steps that every company should go through before considering or implementing business server virtualization in this article. if you are thinking about vitrualizing your IT servers, I encourage you to read: 6 Tips to Better Small Business Virtualization.

Remember: Any technology implemented should benefit the company’s shareholders and users.

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