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April 2010, Vol. 21

Five virtualization sprawl warning signs

Virtualization sprawl can negate the many benefits of virtualization, which include cost savings, operational efficiencies and consolidation. Virtualization is a fundamental shift in how infrastructures are architected, provisioned, managed and operated, but virtual machine (VM) sprawl can create bigger virtualization infrastructure problems down the line. In this tip, I explain virtualization sprawl and how to protect against it. What is virtualization sprawl? Virtualization sprawl occurs when the number of virtual machines on a network reaches the point where the administrator can no longer manage them effectively. VM sprawl warning signs can be remedied, but a single symptom does not necessarily indicate sprawl. Identifying these symptoms, however, can prevent virtualization sprawl from becoming an issue in the future. Below are some of the most common warning signs of larger virtualization infrastructure problems. Virtualization sprawl symptom No. 1: Lack of policy The inability to manage consistent VM configurations is a ...

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