Virtualization Strategy: Conducting a Proper Infrastructure Assessment

Whenever any company moves their physical servers onto a virtual system, they need a strong virtualization strategy informing every step of the changeover. Better planning leads directly to better implementation. Therefore, we strongly recommend anyone investigating the benefits of virtualization conduct a thorough infrastructure assessment before beginning implementation.

This accomplishes a number of tasks simultaneously. First, it gives you the data needed to ensure your new virtual system can take over the existing demands. Some forecasting from this also allows you to see what sort of growth and demand you can expect over the next few years. Further, you can evaluate each department individually, so that you can plan your virtualization strategy to emphasize areas which can most benefit from virtual systems.

So, prior to implementation, we recommend you conduct a thorough top-down review of your organization’s computing needs. Here are the three main steps you should follow:

1)Begin With Assessments

To begin planning for virtualization deployment, create a detailed inventory of your assets and their uses. Create an inventory of existing hardware, including CPU, RAM, and Drive Space. Calculate your existing workloads, along with forecasts of future needs. Finally, formulate a plan to allow virtual systems to smoothly take over for your physical ones, with minimal disruption of operations.

2)Develop a Company Overview

After looking at your network resources, you need to start analyzing how they are to be used at a departmental level. Evaluate your current departmental-level needs and challenges, and analyze their individual contributions your organization. This gives you the information you need to prioritize your rollout among those departments with the highest need. Then, develop your virtualization strategy to addressing the needs of these departments.

3)Plan for Visibility and Early ROI

One potential issue with virtualization is that elements within your company’s hierarchy may become concerned at the cost and scale of the project. You can head this off with an infrastructure assessment.  It allows you to focus on departments that will let you quickly show off the benefits of virtualization. Start with low-risk projects that still have a high degree of visibility, and try to find projects that will quickly demonstrate a strong ROI, to prevent naysaying.

Basically, a good virtualization strategy should be somewhat like a plan of battle. You are literally looking to take over the existing server infrastructure, so plan your virtualization to make the takeover as beneficial and cost-effective as possible.

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