Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Top 10 Tips for Virtualization Planning

Building Virtualization into your IT operations is a sure-fire way to cut costs and save money, right?  After all, your estate is running at less than 20% utilization - so you're wasting 80% of your IT investments - and virtualization will capitalize on that, won't it?

Well maybe, or maybe not.  Whether your planning to virtualize or managing a virtualized landscape, here are my top tips for maximimzing the benefit to the business (your customer!):

  1. Remember: service quality is key to a successful implementation.  Your business users don't care much about anything else
  2. Recognise the revenue associated with service quality.  If service performance degrades - what is the impact on the revenue stream?  Try associating a revenue stream with each business service.  You'll soon get a good idea of priority traffic.
  3. Consider a chargeback structure, or calculate the cost of operating the business service.  At least, calculate what percentage of your operations are dedicated to business services - does it tally with the revenue generated?
  4. What risks is your business happy with, in its service?  Can it tolerate downtime for a few minutes?  An hour?  More than that?  These questions should tally with your revenue streams - and will lead naturally to prioritization in your business continuity plans (not all applications are counted equal)
  5. Are you delivering the services efficiently?  If you've already deployed Virtualization, do you still have islands of unused capacity? 
  6. Consider your headroom for growth.  Your business volumes may alter dramatically at seasonal peaks - imagine retailing before Christmas.  Have you factored in organic growth into your capacity plans? 
  7. Remember your provisioning cycles are not always right-click-deploy.  When you're running out of physical capacity - server provisioning can be much more complex (generally because you're running enterprise class servers now)
  8. Communication is king - from top to bottom of your organisation, are you singing from the same hymnsheet?  Meaning - does your strategy of using virtualization actually tally with how you have it implemented?
  9. Remember new application releases.  Factor those into your planning, or you might find the steady-eddie application you were running is suddenly a resource-hog
  10. Cross-impact - or the chain game.  One change, however benign, might have impacts to other applications and business services you hadn't considered.  Planning is (also) king.

For more info: visit www.limsol.com and click on solutions