Virtualization is a extraordinary innovation that allows companies to take advantage of the ever increasing power of computing hardware. It lowers the operational costs and increases the revenue by optimizing every aspect of the infrastructure.
Server virtualization represents the sharing and partitioning of the resources of a physical server into smaller virtualized servers that run independently of one another.
Desktop virtualization represents the migration of the end-user workload from a traditional PC to a virtual instance housed inside the datacenter.
Virtualization brings significant business, cost and operational benefits to a company, below are some of the most important ones:
- Cost saving, server consolidation and efficient utilization of resources; use more virtual machines under the same physical host.
- More efficient disaster recovery mechanisms for backup and restore.
- Increase resiliency for the data and applications.
- Reduce power consumption and datacenter footprint.
- Only one common management interface.
- Near instantaneous virtual machine deployment.
- Dynamic capacity and resource allocation and application performance increase.
- Easy upgrade for the hardware and application migration.
- Increase user productivity due to proper resource allocation for desktop virtual machines.
- Complete mobility for the users since their virtual desktops can be accessed from any authorized client and the user is no longer linked from the legacy PC.
- Hardware resources – The selection, deployment and allocation of the resources (servers, storage, networking, SAN, backup) must be well planned and design in order to be compliant with the performance requirements and expansion plans.
- Technical support – In order to ensure a predictable and error free operation, the support must be performed by a highly experienced and certified company and Kernel can provide to you a complete support offering.
- Disaster recovery – Well designed backup and restore mechanisms must be put in place to ensure that data is consistent and recoverable in case of an incident.
- Management solution – Due to the way how a virtual environment works , all the operations must be made using a dedicated management platform, any problem in design or operation of the management platform can significantly impact the infrastructure and make it unusable.
- Physical to virtual conversions – Migration of the applications must be done after careful analysis and testing to ensure that legacy application can work and operate under the virtual environment.
- Application response times – Certain types of applications are sensitive to response times and need special care for deployment others are not recommended for virtual environment deployment.
- Clustering and virtual machine live migration – Adds complexity to the design but in the same time is ensuring that hardware failures or performance issues are not affecting the responsiveness and availability of the applications in the virtual environment.li>
- Security – Information is a valuable asset that must be well protected inside the virtual environment by using a multi-layer security mechanism.
- Storage Area Network – Must be provision to the level required by the virtual environment to ensure optimal performance and response time, also the design must be scalable in order to support the addition of new virtual resources.
Server virtualization and consolidation promises to help organizations reduce costs, increase agility, and reduce energy consumption. However, implementing virtualization is complex and can appear daunting.
In order to avoid hazards and ensure a smooth transition to the virtualization environment, we use the following approach:
- We are performing an extensive IT infrastructure analysis and evaluation in order to have input data for the project.
- We evaluate the present load of the infrastructure, the applications and their data, business processes and work flows.
- We conduct interviews with decision makes, it management and administration, regular users in order to assess the present user experience, issues that are present and to determine the expected outcome of the project and acceptance conditions.
- We conduct extensive analysis of the applications that should be migrated to the virtual environment in order to determine which ones can or cannot be virtualized.
- We designed a virtualized architecture that includes hosts, storage, backup and restore (BAR), networking, and management and we estimate the return on investment (ROI).
- If the need arises we conduct a pilot/test implementation in order to validate the design and test critical applications under the virtual environment.
- The implementation is performed in accordance with the design and project plan.
- Optimization, customization and tuning are needed to ensure the optimal usage of resources and best level of performance.
- The project is accepted in production and post-implementation support starts.
- Planned and executed required engineering tasks and business processes.