A recent survey by the Aberdeen Group uncovered some interesting findings about virtualization deployment, and the operational and management challenges that organizations face.
In the Network World article, “From best-in-class virtualization management to highly automated, optimized data centers,” the research firm found what sets leading organizations apart is how well IT understands and optimizes virtualization management software. While the study found the use of management software is critical for successful virtualization rollouts, building an environment capable of achieving performance goals and embracing automation are also essential to the overall success of virtualization management.
With 38% of the survey’s respondents saying they saw reductions in application downtime since deploying server virtualization, Dick Csaplar, a senior research analysts who authored the Aberdeen report, “Managing Virtualized Applications: Optimizing Dynamic Infrastructures,” said organizations that embrace automation are seeing just how much a virtualized environment can reduce costs and optimize the performance and efficiency of their data center.
"We're at the point now, as the data center is becoming more virtualized than not, that you have the opportunity to do things that you've never done before, like consolidate applications at night -- you roll your applications that aren't being used much during those hours onto just a few servers and power down the others for energy savings."
Through the study’s findings, Csaplar suggests four steps that can help increase an organization’s virtualization management success. They include:
1. Monitoring performance against pre-defined virtualization goals
2. Holistic datacenter awareness
3. Preparing to fail with dynamic optimization
4. Automated remediation
Csaplar’s points make perfect sense. Complex virtualization environments need infrastructure management capabilities that let them automatically respond to dynamic events and optimize utilization. The key being that the management tool must provide visibility into the dependent linkages between the virtual and physical world in real-time to ensure an understanding of the current state.
For example, when a server begins to fail, IT needs to be able to proactively identify this event and have the capability to immediately assess the impact to the overall services being delivered. Can this server go down without materially degrading service quality or do the virtual workloads need to be migrated elsewhere immediately?
With the management challenges that inherently come with a virtualized environment, making sure the right business processes and management software are in place during deployment is critical to an organization’s long-term virtualization management success.
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