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7 Steps to Successful Virtualization
Server and desktop virtualization guide for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
The virtualization of physical environments increases flexibility and improves system utilization. The result: companies can work more efficiently. For the medium-sized businesses in particular, virtualized infrastructures offer a wide range of advantages, but they also pose a number of challenges for companies.
How small and medium-sized enterprises can benefit from virtualization in the desktop as well as in the server area and what needs to be considered, Giada shows in seven steps.
1. CAREFUL ANALYSIS OF THE ACTUAL CONDITION
• Preparation is everything
• Redefining IT tasks
With the correct preparation, many errors can be avoided in the beginning. Prior to transitioning the physical environment to virtualized systems, the complexity and dynamics of the underlying relationships and dependencies of configuration, capacity, performance, and application need to be considered, and their respective contexts must be clear. Virtualized environments mean a whole new set of tasks for IT departments. If the IT infrastructures change, the roles and tasks in IT teams should be redefined. Administrators must fully understand the virtual configuration in order to exploit the potential of the virtualized world. To prevent excessive consumption of storage space, update and care needs, tools for the management of virtual environments should also be evaluated. It is imperative to use appropriate tools and guidelines for the sensible use of new possibilities such as flexible provisioning, the storage of images or the migration of virtual machines from one computer to the other. Processes and environments must therefore have a minimum of standardization.
2. PREVENT RISK OF FAILURE
• High availability of the systems
• Easy administration
Giada N50D-FN Dual-Socket Xeon E5-2600 V3/V4 Server Motherboard
In virtualization of physical environments, multiple servers are grouped into a small amount of hardware. Therefore, in the event of a failure, many servers can be "lied" at the same time. Companies must be prepared for this, and must maintain the requirements for equipment and mechanisms for the high availability of the systems. The Giada N50D-FN offers ideal conditions. An essential feature of the server motherboard is the fastest Ethernet connection. Two 10 GB / s SFP + (Enhanced Small Form Factor Pluggable) connectors guarantee a very high data throughput as well as efficient data transport at low latency. This greatly improves availability and reliability. In addition, the Giada N50D-FN has an Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI 2.0). This is an interface for the simple administration of servers - even in the idle state or when the operating system is not available. The administrator can use the KVM module to access the server through an online browser and perform administrative tasks. For example, a restart can be performed. Also, the sensors located on the mainboard can be read to diagnose problems and return frozen servers to normal operation. The N50D-FN is especially suited for use in small and medium enterprises for storage servers, workstations, desktop virtualization and other applications that require a high-speed network.
3. STORAGE-SYSTEM: HIGH CAPACITY AND RELIABLE
• Flexible response to workload requirements
• Sufficient storage space is everything
Giada N60E-O Xeon-D Server Motherboard
In order to be able to react better to unpredictable workload requirements, it is inevitable to have sufficient storage space available. According to studies **, nearly 32 percent of IT managers in the company see unexpected workload requirements as a major challenge for companies. For a guarantee of the necessary high availability as well as for the fulfillment of the highest demands with regard to dynamic load distribution, failure safety and automation, the local hard disk memory is usually not sufficient. Virtual workloads will continue to grow in the future, so a well thought-out storage system is indispensable. By integrating a server motherboard that is specifically designed for high availability and reliability as well as high storage capacity, ideal conditions for successful virtualization are created. The Intel® Xeon® D-based server motherboard Giada N60E-O is designed for processing very large amounts of data and ensures high efficiency and security even at full capacity. All Giada N60E-O models offer a total of four sockets, which can be equipped with DDR4 RAM modules with up to 128 GB. This makes the motherboards particularly suitable for memory-intensive applications such as desktop virtualization. At the same time they ensure significant energy savings during server operation.
4. DATA SECURITY
• Reliable security architecture
• Integration of security professionals
• Safety standards for component selection
Compared to physical servers, the implementation of highly available mechanisms not only ensures, but even increases, operational security. However, virtualized environments also provide a new attack surface for system and data security. For a reliable security architecture, it is essential to integrate safety experts into the processes right from the start. In addition, when selecting individual components for virtualization, it should also be ensured that these components meet a certain safety standard. For example, the Giada N50D-FN Dual Socket Server motherboard has special connectors that enable RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10 controllers to be connected for additional data protection.
5. REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
• Correctly classify the consolidation types
• Additional hardware means more resources
• Correct utilization of physical resources
Companies should not be guided by optimistic manufacturer data and have too high expectations regarding the consolidation capabilities of the new infrastructure. Test setups under laboratory conditions usually yield different results than realistic production scenarios. Above-average consolidation rates can lead to a cost explosion which must not be underestimated, since further computers must be provided at the end. This new hardware requires additional resources such as storage, network capacity and administration. Virtualized computers should be designed so that at most a little more than half of the physical resources are loaded.
6. HIDDEN LICENSE COST
• Attention: license fees
• Changed licensing conditions
• Consider the scaling effect
The transfer of existing servers and applications to a virtual environment is usually accompanied by additional license costs or changed license terms. The IT staff involved must be prepared accordingly. There are different licensing models to consider. In physical environments, the following models are common: the cost by number of processors and the coupling of the license to a particular computer. When virtual systems come into play these models are however lapsed. Virtual servers usually use multiple processors or cores. It may be that in a virtualized environment, multiple virtual machines share a single processor. However, users often have to pay the full fee per processor despite this usage. It may also be that a virtual machine is active only at a certain time and is not used during the remaining time. Some vendors nevertheless often demand the full utilization price for this partial use. In order not to be surprised by unexpected costs, it is essential for IT executives to consider scaling effects. If more virtual machines are deployed, the cost of these virtual machines increases linearly if the virtual license fee is paid for each virtual machine.
7. QUALITY AND CERTIFICATIONS
• High-quality components
• Stability under extreme conditions
In order to ensure a constant system stability even under full capacity, high quality and ISO certification should be taken into consideration when selecting the components. High-quality components, like all Giada server motherboards, guarantee a stable and fail-safe operation of the servers, even under extreme conditions such as high temperature differences. Durable polymer capacitors must withstand severe test runs with a running time of 12,000 hours at a temperature of 105 degrees Celsius. In the production of all Giada products, attention is also paid to environmentally friendly raw materials and low energy consumption in order to conserve resources.
* Source: The "2012 State of the Private Cloud" survey was conducted in March 2012. 289 Companies of all sizes took part in the online survey worldwide and answered questions about storage, virtualization and private clouds. About 180 participating companies are from Europe.
The full report is available at: http://pages.datacore.com/StateofPrivClouds.html.
** Source: In a recent study of virtualization, Crucial surveyed over 350 IT managers to use virtualization memory. All results from the March 2016 survey with 353 IT decision-makers in the US, UK, Germany and France (even distribution of respondents by region)
For detailed information on Giada products and solutions, please visit: www.giadatech.com.