Infrastructure Virtualisation with VMware vSphere

Virtualisation is a very hot topic at the moment with companies and individuals finding that the consolidation of servers to less hardware is a fairly straightforward task.

Virtualisation offers many benefits including:

  • The reduction of the number of physical servers and associated power, space and maintenance costs
  • Easier backup, higher availability and more disaster recovery options
  • Easier deployment of new servers
  • The ability to isolate difficult or legacy services

Virtualised computers can however quickly become out of control and outnumber their physical counterparts by many factors. Unexpected compatibility, licensing and performance issues can also hinder virtualisation efforts.

With some planning it is possible to avoid the common pitfalls, KN3 offers full consultancy services on all VMware products and recommends a three phased approach:

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  • 1

    Discover and Understand

    The first phase is always to discover and understand the existing environment.

    Key Steps:

    • Investigation
      • Which servers currently actively in use?
      • Which applications are required and of those which are key?
      • What is the position with licensing, are the applications and operating systems adequately or even over licensed?
      • Which hardware is being used?
      • Which resources are currently being used (disk, memory and processor)?
      • Which servers are good candidates for virtualisation?
      • What would the saving be?
    • Audit of Requirements
      • Computers are audited using agents to capture hardware information
      • Application utilisation is assessed either using tools or manual interviews
      • Computer processor, storage and disk utilisation data is captured
    • Analysis
      • Each computer's suitability for virtualisation is identified
      • Server types are identified to cover common usage
      • Networking and storage requirements are estimated
      • Required hardware for virtualisation is outlined
      • Consolidation rations and potential hardware savings are calculated
    • Compatibility Checks
      • If an operating system migration is also planned it will be necessary to check whether each application functions and is supported on the target operating system
    • Reporting
      • A full report of the existing environment and the recommended approach is provided

    How KN3 Can Assist With This Phase...

  • 2

    Design and Implement

    The second phase is to design, prove and implement a solution.

    Key Steps:

    • Standards Definition
      • Standards for the installation types (operating system, software and patches) need to be defined and documented
    • Solution Design
      • The virtualisation enviroment is planned taking into consideration the information gathered in the discovery phase and new/future requirements. Backup and availabilty are considered

    How KN3 Can Assist With This Phase...

  • 3

    Training and Support

    Phase three ensures that your new solution is more easily adopted and supported.

    Key Steps:

    • Training
      • Support personnel will need to be trained on how to manage virtualised servers and networks

    How KN3 Can Assist With This Phase...