Nov 22 2011

5 Ways to Avoid Common Mistakes with Virtualization

Virtualization implementations are a good idea, but there are a few pitfalls that can derail them.

Businesses are required to show a positive and quick ROI for almost every IT initiative. Both total cost of ownership (TCO) and ROI analysis have been used for the past few years to prove the value of virtualization projects. However, not every firm recovers its investment as quickly as expected.

For example, a business that wants to virtualize, say, 85 percent of its infrastructure might find that, because of limited personnel and financial resources, it’s able to virtualize only 20 percent.

While a situation like this isn’t typical, it pays to consider ways to avoid such pitfalls. Here are some steps to take to make sure your implementation successful:

  1. Commit not only to the hardware and software investments, but also to other resources required to execute the project.
  2. Commit to a reasonable timeframe for implementation and conversion. Also, consider scheduled downtime, which can limit your conversion timeframe.
  3. Scrutinize the ROI analysis thoroughly. Some companies may find too late that they cannot convert some physical servers to virtual machines due to I/O or other hardware dependencies, lack of vendor support or unanticipated virtual licensing models, for example.
  4. Develop a migration plan for physical-to-virtual migration. A P2V project can affect multiple application groups, so make sure to have effective communications, logistics and fallback plans in place.
  5. If internal resources are not available, consider outsourcing design, implementation and P2V work to an experienced partner.