When planning the deployment of a virtual network, one element we strongly recommend for your virtualization strategy is the creation of a core team – a SWAT team – which is tasked with overseeing the rollout and its integration into your existing procedures. A virtualization project is big enough that it needs to be led by a single group that understands the entire process and the your final architectural vision. This isn’t something that can simply be handed off ad hoc to whichever techs are available.
This SWAT team would have a number of responsibilities, which evolve as the project progresses towards full implementation. In the best transitions we’ve seen, this SWAT team goes through several functional changes. Proper planning and preparation of this team is vital for your virtualization strategy to succeed.
Steps For Implementing a SWAT Team to Oversee Your Virtualization Strategy
- The SWAT team is initially tasked with creating an overview of your existing server structure and workload needs. This data becomes the core of your plan to transition your existing functions to your new virtual system.
- The team then begins to implement test systems and develop internal procedures for rollout. Develop robust ROI calculations and remediation procedures to measure and improve their impact and performance.
- This team also functions as the liaisons between the virtualization project and the rest of the company. They should be responsible for both reporting back to upper management, as well as conducting outreach to build support among workers in other departments.
- As work progresses, the SWAT team should begin developing training protocols, to simplify the migration of users to the new system. Proper education of your employees will make the process go far more smoothly.
- Once the system begins to go live, the rest of your IT staff should be trained by this SWAT team to begin taking over low-level internal support calls and workstation configuration.
- In this way, the SWAT team should simultaneously continue your phased rollout while training more internal members, to ensure a harmonious deployment.
- Evaluation should happen at regular intervals to ensure deployment is occurring with maximum efficiency.
By creating this core team of individuals, you are simultaneously creating a trained and competent base to handle the rollout, as well as creating a single point of contact for any issues that may arise. This centralization will help ensure the success of your virtualization strategy.