New Requirements and Challenges in Virtual Environments

By Rob Smoot  |  Posted 2010-02-03 Print this article Print

New requirements and challenges in virtual environments

Although capacity management can be fundamentally improved with virtualization, there are new challenges, risks and opportunities in managing capacity in a virtual environment. The impact of any demand fluctuation in a shared environment is felt far and wide, by all business units and applications in that cluster, for example. Poorly managed capacity can cause a huge ripple effect.

Five examples of new requirements and challenges in a virtual environment include:

1. Virtualization introduces new considerations such as VM mobility and automated restart or failover, which have important capacity implications.

2. Capacity fragmentation and over-allocation, if not managed, can grow into significant waste across thousands of VMs, hosts and storage.

3. Resource bottlenecks need to be identified at the granular level, and can be made worse by adding more of a given resource such as CPU or storage when you don't need it.

4. Over-allocated VMs represent wasted capacity, which can be identified and reclaimed.

5. Poor VM placement can decrease utilization and cause resource contention.

Given this new world of virtualization and the increasing importance of effective capacity management, it is critical that IT organizations have a clear strategy in this area.

Rob Smoot is a Group Product Marketing Manager at VMware. Prior to VMware, Rob held various positions in product management, strategic planning and sales operations at Veritas Software, and was a management consultant at Andersen LLP. Rob graduated from Brigham Young University, and received a MBA from Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania. He can be reached at

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