Virtualization: Where to start?

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Virtualization can be a practical way to ensure better use of hardware and software resources, which can often be underutilized. This avoids wastage in a number of ways, facilitates day-to-day of IT professionals, provides flexibility for simulations, and ensures adherence to the principles of “green IT”.

However, it’s no use just deciding to deploy virtualization solutions, you need to understand a little more about the top topics of such projects, their pros and cons, and ensure that virtualization is an option adherent to your business.

With the reading of this blog post you will have the opportunity to know little more about concepts and terminologies related to virtualization, as well as some reflections to help professionals who want to take the first steps with this technology. Keep reading!

 

What is virtualization

Virtualizationhas emerged as a solution to some problems: companies could partition a particular hardware to run two or more different applications or operating systems and thus achieve greater efficiency by reducing the costs associated with the purchase of equipment and all the infrastructure required for the maintenance of datacenters.

In simpler language: If your company has an ERP that needs to be installed under the platform of a Windows server 2013 and a software for call management that must be installed in a Linux distribution. In the scenario where the company does not have a virtualized environment it would be necessary to use two servers, one for each OS. Using a virtualized environment you can install both Linux and Windows operating systems on the same hardware together with their respective applications. Virtualizationthen comes with the intention of simulating a hardware, through software.

 

Virtualization enables hardware partitioning, with multiple operating systems to run on a physical machine, and dividing system resources between virtual machines (VMs). It also provides fault isolation and hardware-level security while preserving its performance through advanced resource controls. It also allows the recording in files of the integral state of the VM, guaranteeing ease to move and copy them to other physical server.

Thus, it is possible to virtualize servers, Operating Systems, desktops, networks, services, applications, among other solutions.

Reflections on Virtualization

Advantages and Disadvantages of Virtualization

Some analysts know certain solutions and evaluate their application based only on the advantages, forgetting that, for some businesses, certain features may not be indicated.

Although virtualization brings cost reduction and greater use of the physical resource (servers, computers, etc.), it is important to analyze the entire infrastructure context to minimize the chances of failure. Another important detail is that the greater the number of virtualized applications the greater the need for physical resources to maintain a structure with adequate performance (Processor, memory, disks, network, etc).

 

According to the criticality of virtualized applications, volume of stored data and traffic generated, virtualization projects can become robust and substantially more expensive.

Migrating physical systems or creating new virtual servers without knowing the required features in detail can create a serious short-term problem. In the evaluation phase of resources, be sure to visualize the future of your business to ensure scalability of the virtualization project in question.

In addition to the points treated so far, it is important to emphasize that the greater the criticality of the applications maintained in the virtual structure, the greater the need to apply security criteria on this structure.

 

Take stock of your environment and get deeply acquainted with virtualized applications

Before defining when and how the virtualization process will take place, make a complete inventory of your structure, including hardware resources and software essential for the operation of the business. It is also important that you survey the key performance indicators of your structure, such as: network, servers, applications, etc.

The data obtained during the pre-analysis phase are very relevant to update your knowledge about the company’s technological infrastructure and will also serve as a basis for comparison if you really choose to carry out the virtualization project in the organization. By doing so, it is possible to raise the level of project assertiveness.

After performing the survey you will have a clearer idea of ​​what can be virtualized, what resources you already have available, these being the first steps, before a more robust technical and budget analysis.

 

Create backup routines for the environment

Virtually all applications related to information technology are susceptible to failures, including physical, logical, human, and other types of natural phenomena that can impact the technological structure of the company. No system, application, hardware or software is immune. It is therefore essential to maintain backup routines to minimize losses through claims.

Evaluate with your team what should be the periodicity and whether it will be necessary to use software to facilitate the management of virtual environment backups. In addition, you have to think about whether you will perform a full backup or only the data contained in the VM (Virtual Machine). The entire backup process demands more time and hard disk space, and does not offer agile recovery solutions. The data backup is considerably faster, requires less space and has simple and reliable recovery, depending on the tool used for this purpose.

It is imperative that the backup structure be scaled to ensure that the virtualization structure is fully addressed, avoiding problems by requiring the retrieval of some information.

 

Be prepared for disasters

Expect the best scenario, but be prepared for adverse situations. This is almost a mantra for technology professionals. Knowing that a more serious failure can even result in bankruptcy of organizations, it is imperative that technology analysts take reasonable steps to minimize damages and ensure fast and efficient responses through any type of accident affecting the virtualized structure.

When it comes to virtualizationit is imperative that you have structures with basic principles of high availability, regardless of the type of contingency used. When establishing the scope of the virtualization project do not forget to allocate resources to establish a site backup, or complementary structure, that meets the criticality level for recovery of your environment.

 

At this point it is highly relevant that you evaluate the level of dependency of the organization, considering the entire virtualized structure and measure the time-out incurred in the event of a large-scale loss. The time of recovery of a disaster is inversely proportional to the investment, that is, the lower the recovery time of the environment the larger the investments will be for designing a structure that meets this need.

After designing the structure to guard against disasters, it is critical that the team involved in the project conduct periodic tests that simulate data recovery through claims. It is necessary for technology professionals to ensure that the operation of the recovery structure is meeting the needs of the business, so it is possible to avoid unwanted surprises.

And remember, if you need help developing a virtualizationproject in your business seek the support of a company committed to its results. With the certainty of being protected it is much easier to succeed.

 

ostec
ostec@ostec.com.br
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