How to choose the best hardware for virtualization

Last updated:January 2018

Editor's note

There are several factors to consider when choosing virtualization hardware. Will you be an early adopter of emerging technology? Do you need the most up-to-date servers to meet your workload requirements? Are there certain features and functionalities that will ease resource management in your environment?

These are only a few of the questions you should ask yourself when reviewing hardware virtualization. There's a fine line between not having enough resources and spending too much on something you don't necessarily need.

After purchasing a hardware platform, you need to determine the best way to optimize it; otherwise, valuable processor, memory, networking and storage resources will go to waste. With so many options available to you when it comes to hardware specifications and features, it can be hard to know where to start. Luckily, this updated guide to choosing the best hardware for virtualization can help. 

1Network hardware options

In terms of making the most of your networking resources, selecting the best server hardware for virtualization is only the first step in the process. Of course, using different technologies can help you in those efforts depending on your performance needs, but certain features and techniques can also ease network management. Learn more about emerging technologies, like SNMP, iSCSI and NFS, as well as specific networking best practices with these tips.

2Storage hardware trends

Perhaps one of the most difficult decisions admins have to make when purchasing virtualization server hardware is how they want to approach storage in their environments. Aside from increasingly popular technologies, like storage I/O control (SIOC) and hypervisor-aware storage, you have hyper-converged infrastructure systems to consider. Thoroughly evaluate the storage features different vendors offer and your overall server design before choosing a server for virtualization.