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How to organize a virtual environment

Site expert Anil Desai advises users on organizing a virtual environment with documentation.

We're trying to improve our documentation, and we're looking for advice on the best ways to create and maintain documentation templates for organizing our virtual environment for enhanced support. Could you offer some suggestions?
First off, I commend you on deciding to undertake the painful (but valuable) process of documentation! There are several approaches that can be useful. If you want to track custom information, you can develop a simple Web-based application that stores configuration information in XML files or in a database. You can use scripting or automation techniques to collect the necessary information. If that sounds like too much work, I'd highly recommend looking into enterprise management software that has automatic discovery capabilities. These tools can scan the network and query virtualization hosts to generate reports of what's out there in your environment. This area is still quickly evolving, but some solutions to consider include PlateSpin's PowerRecon, Vizioncore's vCharter, and products from companies such as Computer Associates, Embotics, NetIQ, Opsware, and BMC.
This was last published in December 2007

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