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Choosing your next virtualization project

For organizations with an established server virtualization environment, future virtualization projects are looming on the horizon. Whether it is desktop or application virtualization, much deliberating will undoubtly be given to the best product for the new virtualization endeavor — as it should.

The next wave of virtualization projects should always be best of breed for the requirements and functionality you require for your particular environment. For example, say you’re an organization with a successful VMware-based server virtualization environment using VirtualCenter and ESX 3. Does this mean that VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is the default selection for a virtualized desktop project? Don’t be fooled into thinking that a single-vendor environment is going to translate into an efficient one.

Identify the best solution, even if you can’t afford it. That also includes your host environment hardware for the next virtualization project. Your next virtualization project may require a decision between blades versus general purpose servers for virtual hosts. Taking the time and effort to identify the best solution after making full comparisons for of potential environments will also prepares you for any unforeseen element in post-implementation inquiry.

Make no mistake, there are plenty of advantages to going with what’s familiar: Price discounts, vendor relationships and non-disclosure access are all strong reasons to select the same vendor, but only after due diligence in your decision process should you make another commitment.

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The next wave of virtualization in the data center must be focused on storage. When you look at relevant issues (cost, power consumption, manageability, etc.) tremendous gains are there, although server virtualization is sexier. Virtualization of storage, properly executed, will dramatically reduce the 1) cost of storage 2) Management of storage 3) number of spinning disk drives 4) power consumption. Think about it. Any number of studies reveal that about 75% of all disk space purchased, is simply wasted. Really. And when those disks are expensive 15K Fibre Channel drives, the cost of this waste is enormous. Combining "real" Thin Provisioning with Automated ILM takes this waste and turns it on its ear. Whenever one is wondering where the next wave of cost savings and performance gains are in the data center, they should consider what is sucking $'s and power. The choice is obvious. Paul Clifford Davenport Group