As the use of virtual and cloud computing rises, along with the number of virtual server applications, cloud hosting and other non-physical functions, the need for appropriate management of these resources is becoming paramount. “Old school” thinking about how to handle server maintenance and efficiency no longer applies, and when used to try and regulate systems such as a virtual server, can cause the entire system to become less functional.
As 2011 rapidly approaches, it is important for management teams to examine options they have available for virtualization and cloud computing.
Consider the Public vs. Private Problem
When VPS and cloud hosting systems get off of the ground, the most important aspects of management will lie in ensuring that enough resources are available and that those using the virtual servers are doing so properly.
As a system grows, management needs to consider the public and private needs of the virtualization platform. Cloud computing inevitably lends itself to a merging of the two areas, and managers must create an infrastructure that can effectively manage the need to use both types of resources.
Think about Power
Many companies do not approach the need for power to run all of their virtualized applications in a way that is effective. There is still an assumption that only enough power and space is needed to power what is physically in an office. But with things like email archiving, SharePoint hosting, cloud VPS and website hosting all coming from the same set of virtualized machines, a company can quickly find itself overwhelmed.
A sensible, calculated approach must be taken to evaluate just how much power will be needed to ensure a virtual system continues to operate.
Don’t Keep Doing the Same Thing
Increasing the amount of virtualization that a system can handle is often limited by the management strategy of a company. If a management strategy for VPS and cloud hosting reads the same as one for an in-house server, not only money but time will be lost as costs begin to pile up.
Standardization is key to success here; make sure anything process-related is performed the same way, every time. In addition, consider a move to automatic configuration so that procedures can be automatically standardized.
Virtualization has discernible benefits – the lack of physical space requirements to name an obvious one – but can have drawbacks as well if an effective management strategy is not created. By getting a handle on virtualization early, managing public/private pressure, ensuring proper power is in place and thinking forward rather than laterally, a company can ensure that their virtual systems grow along with them.