What to Avoid for a Successful Virtualization Deployment

virtual-worldEvery new project or deployment needs to be planned and laid out carefully to be successful. If you're working or managing on an enterprise –level IT infrastructure, you need to be updated with the latest patches and fixes to ensure that the servers will run as it should be. Now, if you are trying to deploy a virtual environment or adopt a new hypervisor vendor, one of the things you need to do is to provide your data center with a cost-saving solution that will give and provide many opportunities and advantages to the enterprise. The stages between production and creation can also provide many things for the Virtualization deployment to fail. Experienced IT experts and DBAs have compiled the top 5 scenarios that you can avoid for a successful Virtualization deployment.

1. Inadequate hardware. Using the wrong hardware will result in weak virtualized infrastructure. Physical preparation may seem to be easy but in most cases strategies fail because of poor hardware. Many organizations spend money on hardware thinking that it can handle any type of IT workload. Every IT workload will be a specific set up that will allow the hardware to function to its specific tasks. For example, sizing a SATA drive array or a low end SAN for multiple virtual machines with moderate to high disks I/O requirements will produce poor disk performance for all virtual machines on the said host system. You need to check and examine the VM workloads and architecture first to ensure that the system will be able to meet those demands and allow for natural expansion of the resources. Take note that Virtualization will also introduce a new process for management, installation and disaster recovery when the time comes. You have to know your workloads and know the new tool sets before starting a Virtualization deployment.

2. Choose the best option that is based on software licensing and hypervisor. If you are starting from the ground up, you need to weigh things up. The system function against the price of the solution will determine which hypervisor vendor will fit your needs. To narrow down your choices and have an informed decision, you need to know the types of workloads that you need to deploy, which OS you need to use and how virtual machines are licensed. It can be difficult in comparing functionality with the price and the individual processes for any enterprise. If you're not familiar with it, consult an expert about it.

3. Failing to create a disaster recovery plan and backups. Even if new technology is around, you still need to have a disaster recovery plan or make a back-up plan because shit will always happen. No mater how reliable a system is, there is something that will always go wrong , and you have to be prepared for it. It is inevitable that problems will arise. There are organizations that go for years without having any VM backups but disaster recovery plans and backups should be one of the top priorities. Storage failures, can corrupt a VM's file and rendering it useless. RAID could save your information and data, plus it is cheaper as compared to paying a third party company in recovering your data form the failed hardrives. You need to have a disaster recovery plan and backup strategy before deploying your project.

4. Mis-communication and clashes with IT management. When change is laid out on the table, there will be individuals that may hinder or totally block it. It goes the same with IT member and managers, some of them may stand in the way in deploying a successful visualization project. Most of them may find the move form a physical layer to a reliance on software a bit shaky. New tool sets, new server acquisitions and new access methods can all create confusion within different administrative teams. Another issue is changing vendors that will put more pressure to IT people because it will require to re-learn new skill sets and phase out acquired and tested skill sets. IT middle management can also slow or top the deployment. The middle management is mostly concerned with reducing downtimes and are most often the scapegoats for upper management and the end users whenever issues arise. To avoid these hassles, you need to show, demonstrate and convince the different domains that a Virtualization deployment will benefit everybody within the enterprise.

5. Getting the approval from the software vendor. The vendor will still be one of the factors that you need to focus on. Most of these software vendors don't want their products to be the cause of the problem, on any situation. There are many opportunities for an error to show and slow down performance because virtual environments can be configured in many ways. Virtual environments are sharing environments by nature thus it opens up a possibility that another application or process will interfere with a Virtualization to run a vendor's solution or application. Because of this, a vendor can give support to different physical hardware but can only support the hypervisor which is more familiar with it. This lack of support can limit the scope of your virtual deployment and capital savings.

The bottom line is for you, as a virtual database administration expert, is to pick a Virtualization friendly vendors and stick to the targets and goals of your Virtualization deployment.

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