The Value of Server Virtualization
We strongly believe that Virtualization is hands down the single greatest technology to come along in the last decade. As a business owner or IT Executive, you cannot ignore the value that it can bring to your company. Virtualization helps you solve numerous IT challenges, and you can lower server costs, reduce data center space requirements, reduce cooling expenses and electrical costs related to the data center, network management is easier, and you can essentially do more with less. Virtualization should be a trusted and critical component of any company’s IT strategy, including yours.
Server and Data Center Consolidation
One of the simplest, yet most powerful aspects of virtualization is the ability to consolidate hardware. You have the ability to reduce your physical server count from a lot of servers down to a only a few servers. For example, it’s possible to reduce your entire server count from 15 servers down to three (3) servers.
- Planning a Data Center Consolidation
Implementing a virtual environment in order to consolidate servers does not have to happen all at once. It can happen over time. In fact, we recommend that the best time to start a consolidation project is during a hardware refresh cycle. Instead of replacing servers in a one-to-one manner, implement a virtual infrastructure and migrate the servers into the virtual environment as you decommission the aging hardware. You may take six months or two years to migrate everything, and there is nothing wrong with that approach.
- Things to Consider
Although you will save money on a consolidation by reducing your overall server count, other expenses may come into play that you have never considered before. For example, you may need a SAN for centralized storage, and the licensing for VMware and components may vary depending on the needs of your business. You WILL save money overall, however some of the costs are shifted, not eliminated with virtualization.
The concept of application containment is simple. As a growing company, you need the ability to setup new applications, manage the growth of existing ones, and you don’t want the hassle and restrictions of hardware and other resources that have held you back in the past. In order for your business to stay ahead of your competition, you need to move quickly as needs arise.
- Virtualization makes it easier to provision servers and get applications up and running
Virtual machines are easy to setup, they are hardware independent, and deploying workloads can be completed in a few minutes instead of hours or days.
- IT Becomes More Efficient
Many administrative tasks are streamlined or eliminated, and the IT staff has the ability to easily deploy servers for new applications using existing resources.
- Significant Improvements in Management
Reduce your data center complexity by reducing the number of servers that need to be managed. A common tool set creates consistency and simplicity for centralized management of all systems in the data center.
System Availability and Continuity
In the past, even a small IT disaster could have been catastrophic for your business.. Virtualization provides a robust and affordable way for your critical business systems to stay online. Whether you have minor electrical problems, or if your building burns to the ground, your systems and business data can be protected. You can get back to business quickly, with minimal or no interruption to your business operations.
- System and Application Availability
With High Availability options, you have the ability to quickly recover from failed hardware by moving your running virtual systems to working devices. This can be done with minimal or no downtime or interruption in service.
- Disaster Recovery and Offsite Replication
If you do have a major disaster where your data center is destroyed, it is possible to recover data easier from backup devices. Or you can completely shift production to a new location where your virtual server data has been replicated. This could be a separate corporate facility, or it could be a hosted data center.
It’s likely that you have lots of questions about your own virtual strategy: What do I need? Where do I start? What do I need to consider? How much will it cost? Can my systems even be virtualized? Who can I trust to provide honest and straight forward advice and direction? Who can I trust to implement our solution correctly? It’s easy to become overwhelmed. With Marvin Huffaker Consulting as your virtualization partner, we can help you figure out what you need, setup a realistic budget and a timeline, and help you with your project from start to finish. We’ll help you develop the vision and figure out how to get from where you are now, to where you need to be. And when you need to implement new components or features down the road, we’ll help you make the correct choices along the way.
VMware and Veeam
We strongly recommend VMware vSphere as the foundation for your virtual infrastructure. VMware pioneered the virtualization technology, is the clear market leader, and has the most mature offering on the market. Furthermore VMware has the best management tools and functionality of all major players. We also recommend Veeam as a tool for replication and backup purposes in situations where the VMware tool set falls short. Veeam is an elite VMware Technology Alliance Partner.