Virtualization Featured Article

Optimizing Cloud and Virtualization with Five Best Practices

December 23, 2015

For those of us that were around when virtualization first started taking hold in production environments, it is very easy to recall the 'wild west' days of 'VM sprawl'. In many cases, the virtue of virtualization technology resulted in unmanaged and sometimes uncontrollable systems throughout an environment. Things have improved since then, thanks to proper policy and management. It underscores a need however that is true of all information technology practices - proper maintenance and optimization are critical to a healthy environment. Since those early days, the nature of the data center has shifted radically. It has mirrored the progression of the user, the server, the application delivery model, and data itself. This fluid state of computing is augmented by container technology, virtualization, hybrid computing, interconnected data centers, big data, analytics, mobility, and other elements of the modern data center.

The fluid demands of modern information technology have called for better awareness, better management, better reporting, and a posture of visibility that require tools and practices to address these issues. Cloud and virtualization are two big factors that call for these better practices. In a recent post, a Datacenter Knowledge article illustrates some of the key practices and considerations that surround cloud and virtualization. To summarize:

1. Use virtualization and cloud for business resiliency.

For the highest efficiency, virtualization and cloud technologies should be tactically employed to improve resilience for the business.

2. Virtualization and cloud help you shift data center economics.

One of the oldest arguments for cloud and virtualization is economic. The case is made for infrastructure savings through the data center construct of consolidation and expansion. 

3. Cloud and virtualization give you powerful controls around resources, VMs, and users.

Part of the growing maturity of cloud, virtualization, and related technologies has been the evolution of better controls and management. These systems allow control, security, management, deployment, and other capabilities that are a necessity in a rapidly changing, highly critical data center environment.

4. Always plan around capacity, growth, and business alignment.

This step says that organizations need to focus on the strategic growth and available capacity of dynamic technologies. A lot of what is implied in this step counts on tools to report capacity, anticipate growth, and alert on potential issues ahead of time. However it also implies strategic planning of business needs, business planning and integrating that into the capacity within the data center and beyond.

5. With such a fluid architecture cloud and virtualization requires regular testing.

This stage states that in a fluid enterprise environment, proper testing, documentation, and maintenance are critical to maintaining health. There are many points of information in a dynamic state of the union that touch on both classic infrastructure and newer elements such as cloud and virtualization. A proper approach should integrate as much as possible and it should provide for proper testing of workloads in safe conditions.

Many of these topics are not necessarily new, but they are as important, if not more important than ever. The introduction of dynamic technologies such as virtualization and cloud only emphasize the need for better management and better planning.  

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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