Tips and tools to control sprawl in your VM environment

Using management tools is just one way to prevent sprawl in your VM environment. It's important to be proactive with your VMs to fight sprawl.

Virtual servers led to the elimination of physical server sprawl, but it opened the door for a new problem. As the number of virtual machines increases, it becomes more difficult for administrators to keep track of everything. VM sprawl takes advantage of virtual machines without the proper IT management or control.

VM sprawl is responsible for bottlenecks and server crashes due to poor resource utilization. Virtual machines (VMs) will use up resources that are better suited being used elsewhere. Preventative measures and management tools help you fight the battle against VM sprawl.

These five links will explain to you what you can do before and after your VM environment has been affected by VM sprawl.

Keep control of VM sprawl to keep your server running at a high level

Controlling VM sprawl is a vital step in keeping a high-performing virtual server running. Know how to use server consolidation, capacity planning and other strategies to control VM sprawl and to maintain the safety of both virtual and physical servers.

Take preventative steps beforehand

One of the best ways to deal with VM sprawl is to be proactive and take steps to prevent it from happening in the first place. Installing a simple business policy and using automated reporting are just two preemptive measures you take to help prevent sprawl from affecting your VM environment.

How to prevent VM sprawl with archiving

You start with one VM, but before you know it, there are so many that you might lose track of which does what. As the number of VMs grows, so does the chance of poor resource utilization. Archiving is one method that will keep you more organized and help prevent VM sprawl.

Virtual infrastructure management tools

As more and more VMs are created in an environment, it becomes harder for administrators to keep pace. It doesn't help when there are licensing issues, which can further VM sprawl. Virtual infrastructure management tools offer features like resource and capacity management, VM lifecycle management and more that will help deal with sprawl.

How to conquer VM sprawl and other virtual data center challenges

VM sprawl effectively undoes the benefits of server consolidation and uses valuable resources that could be used more efficiently. This has sparked new business policies and procedures as well as management tools that track virtual machine activity, which will help deal with VM sprawl and its negative effects.

This was first published in April 2014

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