Project PointersBy Brian P. Watson | Posted 2007-04-11 Print
Less hardware is good, but immature technology isn't. With new products on the way, companies may find better methods to speed up virtual server deployments and cut costs.Project Pointers
Embarking on a virtualization project can be tricky. Where to start? Baseline asked some experts to recount the lessons they learned in virtualizing servers—and how those experiences can help you.
Cutting costs is great, but make sure you have ample hard drive space and memory. Take it from Karl Fisher, systems engineer with All Systems Integration of Woburn, Mass. He says his systems integration firm underestimated how many gigabytes of space it would need for its virtual machines as well as how much memory some applications required. Getting up to par didn't cost much, Fisher says, but it took some time. In light of that, doubling your expected capacity is a wise move.
Instead of mixing and matching, get the right recipe. Brian Heagney, data center manager with CoAMS, a trade promotion consulting firm, urges his fellow technologists to research which hardware works with the different virtualization engines and their operating systems. "The same hardware will scale differently [with different software] and that can determine the up-front cost savings," Heagney says. After all, if everything worked together perfectly, there wouldn't be any competition.
Read the brochures, listen to the
sales pitches—but nothing beats
taking the product for a spin. "The
best way to evaluate is to have the
vendors set up test systems and run
similar virtual machines on the competing
products," says Tim Smith,
director of humanities information
systems at The Ohio State University.
Testing VMware's ESX Server helped
Smith get comfortable with—among
other things—the software's P2V
provisioning capability, which moves
information from physical boxes
onto new virtual machines.
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