Key business drivers and benefits for us:
• Co-location data centers environmental costs are greatly reduced (rack space, power, cooling).
• Allows better utilization and flexibility to segment physical resources (vCPU & vMemory)
• Consolidate / centralize management of all Windows and Linux infrastructure
- Administer entire virtual environment via a single pane of glass (vCenter)
- Provisioning of VMs is really simple and quick. Allows easy use of templates.
- Utilize Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) & VMotion
- Optimizes performance of VMs
- Allows flexibility for patching cycles to minimize downtime.
• VMware product has been very stable
• Allows for easier compliance and consistency for meeting IT audit controls
• Initial ROI analysis a few years ago did show significant savings over physical model. We are looking at updated ROI and show-back / charge-back models currently.
Room for Improvement:
VMware product challenges / Areas for improvement:
• Advanced Capacity Management and Performance Management & Analysis, Disaster Recovery, and private cloud capabilities are lacking out of the box for enterprise-level deployments.
- Ability to “right-size” resources on all VMs is needed at enterprise installations.
- Add-on / 3rd party products like vCenter Operations / VMturbo, SRM, or vCloud may be needed.
- These add-on products add management complexity. They also add licensing and maintenance costs for the overall solution in a tough budget climate.
• Difficulty using VMotion with Microsoft Clusters. We utilize clusters for our large SQL Farm, but we are unable to use VMotion during patching efforts. We are now looking at Hyper-V or physical servers for this functionality to minimize downtime.
• Granting administrative privileges / roles can be a bit more tedious than are initially apparent.• VMware vSphere 5 is current architectural standard for 2 data centers
- VMware was the major virtualization solution provider when first implemented years ago
- Microsoft 2012 Hyper-V “proof of concept” is currently in progress for US
- Educational discounts from Microsoft are significant
- Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 version functionality appears to gain on VMware vSphere
• Also have a large Solaris UNIX environment utilizing Solaris Zones.
• VMware (or Hyper-V) will enable us to drive a re-platforming effort for Solaris -> Linux
Things to consider before purchasing VMware or Hyper-V:
• Understand your virtualization objectives and requirements before purchase. Assess all requirements against VMware or Hyper-V licensing cost and edition functionality
• Define a strategy for resource intensive applications (large CPU or memory requirements) and when to stay standalone vs. virtual
• Implement processes to control “VM sprawl” as VM provisioning process is so simple.
• Consider other process efficiencies that virtualization may drive (i.e. Service Catalog)
• Ensure IT staff gets proper training. The learning curve can be steep initially at the enterprise level.
• If possible , look at processes for show-back or charge-back model early on to assess costs and ROI.