How to Not Be (Virtually) Incompetent

10/1/2014

How to Not Be (Virtually) Incompetent

Remember the days of wastefulness and excess?  The days when every time you needed a new network-based application you convinced the boss or the Procurement department (I wonder if those people could “procure” a condo at Miami beach for me) to buy you a new server.   Remember those days?  That would have been from the dawn of the computer age until about 2009.  Unless your company is behind the curve…or in this case the 8 ball.

By now it is highly likely that your organization no longer uses this outdated, wasteful method.  You’ve moved into the world of virtual machines with VHDs, hosts, guests, hypervisors and all of the other associated components.  Many organizations have a large virtual infrastructure using a solution from a single virtual provider.  Other companies have a hybrid scenario with two or more types of virtual technology.

Let me ask two simple questions:

  1. How much does the licensing for your hypervisor cost?

  2. How are you managing the virtual infrastructure?

How much does the licensing for your virtual infrastructure cost?

We all understand that there are costs associated with a virtual infrastructure.  VM hosts, physical connectivity to the hosts, SANs (Storage Area Networks), licensing for the operating systems and applications, client access licenses (CALs) and several other components.  But the question is, how much does licensing for your hypervisor cost?  If you are looking at Microsoft Hyper-V that answer is $0.  It’s free and included with the Microsoft Windows Server 2012 operating system.  Keep in mind you still have the operating system licenses, etc., but the hypervisor is 100% free.  Other hypervisor providers charge thousands of dollars per year.  If your hypervisor has an associated licensing cost I would take a serious look at Hyper-V to see if it meets your needs.  How can you learn more about Hyper-V?  Check out our course MS20409B – Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center.

How are you managing the virtual infrastructure?

If you have one or two VM hosts with just a few virtual machines then management is not a great challenge.  Except for dealing with the differences between VMs and physical machines and any configuration settings in the hypervisor management tool(s) you should be fairly comfortable moving from managing physical machines to virtual machines.  However when you bring in multiple VM hosts and dozens of virtual machines manual management quickly becomes a nightmare.  You need tools designed to scale to whatever size is necessary.  What is the cost of those tools?  Who created the tools?  How do they integrate with the operating system?  Let’s cover this in a nutshell.  The best virtualization management tools are the ones that 1) Have the required features 2) Increase automation and efficiency 3) Integrate a smoothly as possible with the operating system and virtual infrastructure and 4) Have the lowest cost.  In my opinion those are the big 4 areas to consider…in that order.  Take a look at what you are using for virtual infrastructure management.  Compare features, automation, integration and costs.  I have to tell you, from my standpoint System Center Virtual Machine Manager is the champ for virtualization infrastructure management.  We will show you plenty of features for SCVMM in the MS20409B – Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center course.

Ok, so we’ve mentioned the MS20409B course a couple of times at this point.  What will it really do for you?  You will gain a LOT of knowledge.  Let’s hit the highlights.

  • What are Microsoft’s virtualization options?

  • Evaluating your company’s environment for virtualization.

  • Installing and configuring Hyper-V.

  • Working with VHDs and VMs.

  • Virtual machine networks and switches.

  • Moving and replicating VMS.

  • Making hosts and VMs highly available through failover clustering.

  • Installing and configuring System Center Virtual Machine Manager.

  • Managing hosts, VMs, networking and storage with SCVMM.

  • Managing non-Microsoft virtualization hosts and VMs with SCVMM.

  • Cloning VMs (because you know you’ve always wanted to clone something!).

  • Creating private clouds using System Center.

  • Automating virtualization with System Center and private clouds.

  • Monitoring and protecting your virtualization infrastructure.

If you are looking to increase your virtual competency and implement and or manage virtualization for your organization using Microsoft Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center then we can help.  For more details and our scheduled courses visit the following link: MS20409B – Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center.

Have a great day!

-Troy