Implementing server virtualization can lower capital and operating costs while improving IT efficiency and application performance. But implementation is a challenging process, and poor execution can cause a company to miss out on the many benefits of virtualization.
If your company is preparing to implement server virtualization, these three steps will help you avoid missteps and maximize the return from the move.
From the Top Down, Drive Virtualization as a Cultural Shift
Without genuine executive level support, the chances are slim that any company will achieve the full potential of server virtualization.
If your company has this critical executive buy-in, the next step is getting all the other stakeholders on board. An effective way to accomplish that is to appoint a core group of influential and technical people—including tech-savvy people representing your various business units—to champion the benefits of the change.
Match Your Implementation to Infrastructure
Consider all existing inventory and how it’s utilized, with the ultimate goal of understanding how virtual workloads can best be combined and managed. Compare various implementation scenarios to determine the best strategy for your company. Then develop a detailed, step-by-step plan for moving to virtualization. It’s critical to ensure that you are able to maintain performance requirements for all applications, while at the same time taking advantage of all possible virtualization efficiencies your infrastructure allows.
Take It Slow
It may seem counterintuitive to talk of taking it slow as a way to develop momentum for implementation. But companies that have succeeded in their move to virtualization typically start with a “first phase” introduction that allows for hands-on learning and adaptation. And once the value of virtualization becomes obvious in this area, the first phase becomes a success story to inspire further implementation.
Also in the category of taking it slow is for management to be patient with ROI. It’s important to recognize that server virtualization is a major transformation, with a learning curve. In evaluating effectiveness, take a longer-term view than a few months.
- Successful implementation of server virtualization takes careful planning.
- You need buy-in from all stakeholders, including executives
- Make it clear that there are tangible benefits for the move—that it isn’t a case of technology just for the sake of technology.
- Develop an implementation strategy that’s tailored for your company’s specific infrastructure environment.
- Don’t rush the process.
Photo Credit: Michael David Pedersen