The Dark Side of Data Center Virtualization - Page 3

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 J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...