Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Virtualization and Storage

My storage
As I go through the process of building my virtualized environment, one of my key considerations is storage. We are leaning towards a terabyte SAN storage device to improve the speed of back ups and virtual machines (VMS) can be moved faster.  The ability to quickly deploy  VMS is the key to quick disaster recovery.

System Management
To ease the management of VMS you should create VMS IDs. The use of VMS IDs  allows for control of mobility from server to server and enforce policies automatically. The management tool for Vmware VMS is hypervisor. Management tools become critical because VMS are moved to different servers and taken off line which makes management tricky.

In addition to managing VMS, you must successfully manage all of your licensing. Licensing has been traditionally been tied to per user or per CPU based pricing, but this model does not work with virtual machines. Many vendors must update their licensing models to account for VMS. VMS builds must be accurately tracked to control additional licensing cost associated with OS instances and applications.

Security in a virtual environment is key as the challenges and stakes are high. Any management tools such as hypervisor must be secured properly to protect VMS that ride below. Additionally all your SAN builds become critical as the house all VMS.

Once you have your virtual environment up and running you can decommission servers that have been replaced with VMS. This ultimately saves on power, cooling, and management costs. If you were ever to decommission a virtual server, you would have to find it; and justify the reasoning.

As Virtualization becomes a reality, the key components that need to be monitored are: application availability, resource utilization and allocation, security, storage, and redundancy.  The journey has began and is well worth it.


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