Essential Guide

Taking charge of VM allocation, troubleshooting methods

Introduction

Server consolidation through virtualization saves money, but once you've deployed a virtual environment, the challenge becomes how to manage it and ensure long-term infrastructure health.

Administrators need to be careful to make sure their hardware resources can support the VMs they need to run, and that their environments can scale as workloads increase. As more organizations consider virtualizing mission-critical workloads, and the IT industry shifts toward a software-defined future, getting the highest VM performance will become even more important to admins. When it comes to promoting business growth and success, virtual infrastructure health is key.

Effective data center management must include capacity planning, VM allocation, troubleshooting methods and the right monitoring tools. This guide will cover the basics and more advanced tips so you can optimize server and VM performance.

1Planning-

Server capacity planning, VM allocation methods

Capacity planning is arguably the most critical phase of implementing a virtual infrastructure. Your servers will need to support VMs, survive faults and scale up easily, the success of which will depend on proper capacity planning. By learning how to provision servers and VMs using the tools at your disposal, you'll be better prepared to prevent bottlenecks and ensure the long-term health of your data center.

Tip

Improving server capacity planning

Allocating computing resources to changing workloads is an ongoing challenge, but proper server capacity planning can lead to more efficient use of a data center's resources. Continue Reading

Feature

FAQ: Devising a server consolidation plan

A server consolidation plan should optimize server capacity. A well-devised server consolidation project eliminates physical servers that waste resources and rack up hardware costs. Continue Reading

Tip

Best practices for effective thin provisioning

Thin provisioning allows storage capacity that has been allocated to various apps or servers, but not actually consumed, to be shared. This allows you to use less disk capacity. Continue Reading

Feature

Better configuration management strategies for IT pros

Pick the best tool to maintain efficient and cost-effective operation in today’s virtual data centers. Continue Reading

Tip

How to optimize VM placement in data centers

Move from conservative to aggressive VM placement and reap the server consolidation benefits while maintaining performance. Continue Reading

2Maintenance-

Tools of the data center management trade

Choosing the proper management and monitoring tools is critical to data center health and business success. The number of tools, applications and software available to admins is staggering, and only continues to grow. Focus on the scale of your infrastructure, as well as your most business-critical workloads when choosing monitoring tools. That way you'll stretch your budget the farthest.

Tip

New automation, virtualization tools aid VM provisioning

Increased automation and better tools are accelerating virtualization adoption and enhancing the approaches to VM provisioning. Continue Reading

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Frequently asked questions about server automation tools

Server automation tools save time and reduce errors. But what should tools offer, and are point systems or suites the way to go? Find out in this FAQ. Continue Reading

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Virtual machine performance monitoring approaches and tools

To gauge virtual machine performance or detect failure, decide whether to monitor from inside or outside a VM and then choose a monitoring tool that works with your hypervisor. Continue Reading

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Top 10 virtualization management tools

There are lots of virtualization management tools out there, but which ones are right for your infrastructure? Here are 10 tools data center managers should consider. Continue Reading

Tutorial

Data storage management tools for a virtual server environment

In virtualized server environments, the need to provide greater visibility and ease allocation of storage for virtual servers has spurred data storage management tools from vendors that sell hypervisors, storage arrays and SRM products. Continue Reading

3Problem solving-

Troubleshooting common virtual infrastructure issues

Deploying a virtual infrastructure is hardly a set-it-and-forget-it job. Issues such as VM sprawl, memory and storage shortages and performance bottlenecks can and do occur over time. Virtualization admins, however, can minimize risks by learning what problems can occur, what causes the problems and what safeguards they can put in place to prevent the problems.

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Five strategies for VM sprawl control and prevention

Be proactive with your VM sprawl control strategies to avoid resource shortages and performance problems. Continue Reading

Tip

Common storage and virtual machine snapshot challenges

Snapshots are a lifesaver, when used correctly. Just avoid the common storage and virtual machine snapshot pitfalls, so you can breathe easy. Continue Reading

Tip

Curbing virtual server sprawl in growing virtualized environments

With fast-growing virtualized environments, virtual server sprawl becomes difficult to manage manually. An expert discusses how virtual machine management tools help in provisioning and configuring VMs and ease sprawl. Continue Reading

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Four mistakes that can kill virtual machine performance

Screensavers, managing from the console, real-time security scans and certain Windows Server power options can all undermine virtual machine performance. Here's how to avoid VM performance killers. Continue Reading

Tip

Preparing to troubleshoot a hung Windows server

Microsoft MVP Bruce Mackenzie-Low breaks down the preparation process for debugging Windows server hang and explains how to install Windbg, a useful troubleshooting tool from Microsoft. Continue Reading

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