Keys to Managing your Virtual Environments

Copyright Information: This white paper was updated by Andy Paul, including the addition of original material as well as updating existing material.  It was published online with GlassHouse Technologies, August 30, 2011, at the following URL:

Server virtualization and consolidation remains one of the top priorities for most IT organizations. Over the last few years, companies have begun to deploy solutions, replacing existing older, underutilized servers to a virtual platform and employing virtual machines as the preferred x86 server platform.

The promises of server virtualization go right to the heart of today’s IT organizational objectives:

  • Reduced capital costs
  • Reduced operational costs
  • Optimization of resources
  • Minimized power consumption
  • Reduced time to deploy
  • Minimized risk
  • Enhanced backup and recovery options
  • Enable disaster recovery solutions

While substantial, these are just a few of the promises of server virtualization.  But now that organizations have deployed their new virtualized platform, are they realizing the benefits they expected? Is the new infrastructure meeting performance expectations?  In our communications with IT infrastructure management, we find a common theme.  Many do not really know beyond a “gut feeling” the answers to the following questions:

  • Are we achieving the anticipated cost savings on the operational side?
  • Has performance been impacted by the move to the virtual environment?
  • Can we scale this environment?
  • Have we optimized our current virtual server capacity?
  • When should we purchase new capacity and what should be purchased?
  • Do we have the appropriate skills/resources to maintain this new environment?

GlassHouse has assisted many organizations with the design, planning and implementation of their virtual environments.  During the implementation phase, we help companies set themselves up for long term success by putting in place proper procedures and management tools from the beginning.  In this paper, we share what we believe to be the four keys to managing this new environment.  It is our hope that the information provided will help ensure your success.

The four keys to effectively managing the virtual environment:

  1. Illustrate and demonstrate cost savings in the environment and pay for new capacity by implementing an effective Virtual Machine cost model.
  2. Provide visibility into the performance, utilization, and capacity of the environment.
  3. Integrate the Virtual Infrastructure into your Configuration and Change Management procedures.
  4. Develop scheduled maintenance plans to ensure the environment is always updated and running in an optimal configuration.

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