Is Virtualization the Solution for You?

Take a Step Back and Assess

Tim Allen

Just because something is generally a good idea doesn’t mean you should rush right out and do it. Your best bet is usually to wait until all the facts are in and weigh the evidence carefully before proceeding. We would all agree that buying flood insurance for your home is a prudent move – unless you live in the desert. Virtualization is also a great example of something that seems like a no-brainer, but may not be in every circumstance. Read on for tips on making sure your infrastructure is ready for virtualization.

Simply put, virtualization lets you do more with less. Collecting disparate computing resources into shareable pools lets you see how much they’re being used and manage them all from a single console. The immediate benefit of this is discovering your excess capacity. According to a study by Green Grid, the average business only uses 5 percent to 25 percent of its server capacity. Most of the power those servers use goes toward heating up the room, which then costs you more money to cool down.

Virtualization is known to make organizations more agile. Greater control of your IT infrastructure means you can respond quickly when changes in business demand different resources. It also can completely change the way IT managers think. Instead of always focusing on taking care of the technology, they can focus on the services their technology can provide.

But all this can only happen if your system is in good enough shape.

Just focusing on servers when you implement virtualization will usually bring a lower-than-expected ROI. It’s essential to also consider the network and storage infrastructure. Virtualization brings with it increased resource demand and changes in traffic patterns. If you don’t also have increased monitoring and accountability for control of the system, virtualization will just put additional stress on the data center and degrade its performance.

However, if you take a proactive approach to virtualization you can maintain the high level of application performance, security, availability, and manageability your business requires. The best way to do this is with a comprehensive IT infrastructure assessment. This assessment should examine the cost and power advantages of migrating to a virtualized infrastructure and identify relevant network configuration and security issues.

Cisco’s Data Center Virtualization Assessment Service will prepare you for virtualization by identifying gaps in your server, storage, and network infrastructure that could limit ROI. It also improves the security profile of your virtualized environment. Working closely with subject matter experts, you will be able to manage risk associated with highly mobile and increasingly complex virtual machine environments.

The assessment also provides recommendations to help you evolve your data center to a next-generation design using technologies and solutions from Cisco and our partners. Enterprise and solution architects, virtualization experts, and project managers work collaboratively to provide needed insight into your technical, business, and financial requirements.

If you think this might be a good next step for your business, click here to find out more.