Nov 29 2011

5 Tips for Smarter Virtualization

Prepare yourself with these tips before kicking off a virtualization initiative.

Server virtualization has been a boon for small business companies, since it allows them to build scalable infrastructures, often at a reduced cost in comparison to physical infrastructures. But it can be complicated and confusing to navigate a server virtualization deployment if you haven't prepared yourself properly.

Here are five handy quick tips that should help you plot and devise a sound virtualization plan for your company.

  • Seek out training. Vendors such as VMware offer intensive boot camps that get you up to speed quickly on the intricacies of virtualization. There are also numerous IT blogs that out there offer guides, advice and strategies on server virtualization as well.
  • Analyze your data and security needs. Building the right architecture from the ground up is key, says Interphase Systems' Lew Smith. Remember, this is your company's IT infrastructure. Just because it's virtual doesn't mean it should be any less.
  • Classify your data. Sensitive or confidential information needs to be treated differently in a virtual environment, notes Dave Amsler, founder of Foreground Security. Not all data is created equal and this is especially important to keep in mind for companies that need to comply with PCI Data Security Standards.
  • Consider virtual storage. It will help get your organization up and running much faster when disaster strikes. Relying solely on disk or tape can leave your company vulnerable if the physical storage devices are damaged or malfunction.
  • Load up on memory and network bandwidth. Virtual environments can be total resource hogs if not managed properly, but you should still be prepared to plump up your network infrastructure. Of course, you'll need to balance this with the fact that resources should will be allocated with cost in mind.