Virtualization Strategy: Establishing a Phased Workload Selection Plan

If you’re developing a virtualization strategy to plan how you’ll switch over to your new virtual server systems, we strongly recommend you implement a phased deployment. This gives you the freedom to slowly expand your the virtual systems as your technical staff becomes more confident in their abilities.

Establishing a phased workload selection plan during the initial assessment period will allow you to choose how to implement your virtualization strategy in an optimized fashion. While each company’s virtualization strategy will be unique to their specific needs, this can still serve as a guideline when planning your own implementation:

Typical Deployment Phasing

Planning and Assessment (Phase 0)

You should develop a core team that is responsible for the entire project, and direct them to do a complete overview of your system assets. This allows them to accurately plan the live deployment.

Then, start focusing on testing development environments while using these experiences to train your staff. You can also do some early consolidation of Tier 2 and Tier 3 systems, out of general view, to get more experience and feedback on the process.

Phase 1

Once your core team is comfortable with the technology, it’s time to establish standards for the deployment and start moving live systems onto it. Internal IT processes should be migrated first, if they weren’t in the planning phase.

Then start deploying in departments with high visibility but low risk to the bottom line. This is also an ideal time for the core team to start training the rest of the IT staff on virtualization, as well as doing training among the workforce on the changes.

Phase 2

Once Phase 1 has been implemented successfully, start moving towards full standardization across the company.  At this point, your entire IT staff should be fully involved in the process, and they should focus on refinements that optimize the deployment process.

This is also a good time to establish a static technical support team, as more internal calls will start coming in. Additionally, start looking towards automating server processes such as workload management, to reduce the IT workload.

Moving Ahead

Depending on the size of your company, it could take between eight months and a year to fully deploy a virtual system. Don’t let the scope of the project seem daunting! The end result will be a much more efficient system, one that saves you money and increases productivity.

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