Moves and Changes

By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2008-02-12 Print this article Print


Moves and Changes

It's relatively easy with physical systems to understand the interdependencies of various applications because the systems are often kept in close physical proximity to one another. With virtual systems, the interdependencies may not be as obvious. It's therefore important to have a plan for tracking dependencies and where interdependent systems move in the physical infrastructure.

Understand the policies that enable the creation and movement of virtual systems. Losing control of virtual server positions as the result of moving a virtual system to another physical host to improve performance can lead to sprawl. Most virtualization platforms include the ability to monitor virtual server performance and the availability of physical compute resources. When a VM reaches a predefined high utilization rate, the allocation module can move virtual systems to physical hosts with more available power. It is up to IT managers to monitor this process and ensure that virtual server resources are accounted for, regardless of the physical host where the virtual system currently resides.

Desired Configuration

In October, the Center for Internet Security released its first benchmark for securing VMware's ESX Server 3.x. According to CIS, "the benchmark is a compilation of security configuration actions and settings that -harden' virtual machines."

Many longstanding configuration management vendors, including Configuresoft, provide management tools that check desired-state configuration against actual configurations for physical and virtual systems. Consider that VMs share physical resources. Systems that require stringent security configuration should be co-hosted on the same physical hosts to prevent low-priority virtual servers that may not be as diligently cared for from taking shared physical resources from high-priority virtual servers.

Connect the dots between physical and guest systems and ensure that configuration management on both types of systems is in place to help manage a virtualization rollout.

Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant has been with the Labs since 1997, and before that paid his IT management dues at a software publishing firm working with several Fortune 100 companies. Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility, with a focus on Android in the enterprise. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his reviews and analysis are grounded in real-world concern. Cameron is a regular speaker at Ziff-Davis Enterprise online and face-to-face events. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at

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