Do You Have the Tools to Virtualize Your Data Center?

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-10-02 Print this article Print

Red Flag No. 5: What impact will virtualization have on your level of service?

When you stack multiple workloads onto a single server (and Red Hat's new Qumranet is specified to support 50-odd virtual servers on each physical server), it is even more essential to keep your physical servers running.  So it is important to be planning to implement high-availability solutions, with multiple network and power supply failovers, from the get-go.

If you are running VMware ESX, you will need to have plans from the outset on how you will use tools like VMotion to relocate your most mission-critical servers/services to enable preventive maintenance and for disaster recovery.

Red Flag No. 6: Do you have the tools to be able to monitor/ manage your new sensitive complex environment (rack-side and remotely)? 

Fact: In virtualizing servers, you can't rely on the simple tools such as serial console/KVM switches/LCD drawers you had been using. These were fine for controlling old servers with physical keyboard mouse ports and real operating system environments, but they are of zero value in accessing the service processors in headless blade servers, or the virtual Linux/Windows server running on the hypervisor on the blade.

Also, your PDUs and UPSes are now a critical piece of the infrastructure that need to be controlled at each rack, so you will need to look at new tools such as Opengear KCS. And you'll need vendor-agnostic tools because while it is a VMware virtual world today, in the coming years Sun Microsystems, Red Hat and Microsoft will also be major players, and you need to be able to monitor and manage all these-at the rack side and remotely.


Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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