The first step in a successful Virtualization Strategy is to assess your IT environment, the infrastructure and applications currently deployed that support your business. This assessment will provide a great deal of insight to how effective virtualization could be for your organization.
While many organizations utilize VMware’s Virtual Infrastructure Methodology (VIM), assess, plan, build and manage we feel this does not go far enough to leverage virtualization as a technology and how it can be applied to capture additional benefits for most organizations. Wizweaver offers this service as part of the VIM methodology or as part of the following Wizweaver Virtualization Strategy methodology.
Our research indicates that our clients are adopting server virtualization as a strategy of effectively managing their business applications and services without coupling them to a specific piece of hardware as in the traditional client-server model of application management.
We have found that a 6-phase approach is commonly adopted according to the current business goals of the client:
1. Application Test & Development Environment
2. Application Consolidation for Costs Savings
3. Production Environment for Critical Business Applications
4. High-Availability and Disaster Recovery Planning
5. Application “Twilight” for costs savings Archival
Phase 1: Test & Development
Single server, workstation Focus on flexibility and transportability of the applications contained within the virtual machine
Phase 2: Server Consolidation for Costs Savings Focus: Cost reduction of under-utilized server platforms Support for legacy applications Older operating systems driver support (e.g. Windows NT 4.x) Appliance server functions Mixed operating systems requirements
Phase 3: Virtual Infrastructure for Production Production-class equipment with N+1 sizing. Focus is on creating an environment that completely minimizes the need for business application outages that may have been traditionally related to hardware maintenance
Phase 4: High-Availability and Disaster Recovery Plan Define your High-Availability and Disaster Recovery needs by your applications as they appear to the end user Add appropriate high-availability software to your 24x7 business applications Design a Disaster Recovery plan that answers the primary question: “During a major disaster event, WHO will need access to WHAT information or applications, and WHERE will they most likely be?”
Phase 5: Application Twilight Once an applications have reduced relevance to the organization, or low-resource demands, move them to lower-cost portion of Virtual Infrastructure to save costs
Phase 6: Application Archival Archive an application as a Virtual Machine for simple restore at a later time Look at your compliance needs