Server virtualization is a process that can save money, improve performance and bring a raft of other benefits with it to the businesses that decide to embrace it.
However, there are also a few obstacles to overcome if you want to successfully implement virtualized servers. To help you out in this scenario, here are a few impactful tips that should make all the difference.
Follow best practices
The good thing about server virtualization is that organizations have been doing it for decades, and there are some well-established strategies and best practices that are worth following if you are taking this route for the first time.
For example, this rundown of the best practices for setting up a virtual SQL server from SQL expert Kevin Kline is a good starting point if you are considering the most suitable approach for virtualizing your own database infrastructure.
Match your hardware allocation to your needs
The primary perk of server virtualization is that it lets you make more efficient use of your available hardware, and of course you can emulate hardware within VMs as needed.
However, you still need to make sure that you are not being overzealous in your allocation of hardware resources, virtual or otherwise, as this will not only be wasteful but could even compromise performance, rather than improving it.
Suboptimal hardware allocation will lead to inefficiencies in the overall system, so instead, it is better to accurately assess your usage requirements and cater to them as precisely as possible.
Make sure you have a backup
While virtualized servers can be more resilient than purely physical equivalents, this is only the case if you have planned ahead and created a secondary backup of your virtual servers which can be turned to in the event of an unplanned outage.
Do not get complacent about disaster recovery, as downtime will cost a lot to cope with and it is better to be safe than sorry when trouble strikes out of the blue.
Take monitoring and management seriously
A modern server virtualization solution may seem like it can be set up and left to run with minimal maintenance, but in reality, you need to be hands-on when it comes to monitoring the systems involved.
More importantly, still, it is definitely a good idea to test both the systems in place and the plans you have made to ensure uptime is not compromised. This is because unless you do so, you might find that when you actually have to put them into practice, they do not live up to expectations. It is better to pinpoint problems sooner rather than later.
Minimize complexity if possible
The more aspects of a server you virtualize, the more likely there is that the amount of complexity involved will spiral out of control.
Regularly reviewing the configuration of your virtualized servers and seeing which components are pulling their weight and which may no longer be necessary will give you useful insights, and generally contribute to the overall effectiveness.