Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

How to virtualise and consolidate servers

Plan to avoid IT project pitfalls

Article comments

Joe Latrell, IT manager and lead programmer for GetMyHomesValue.com, a real estate data services company, knows that it's all too easy for even a knowledgeable and experienced IT veteran to make mistakes while managing a complex server-consolidation project. "You have to think about everything," he says. "It can be a minefield."

Server virtualisation projects are usually easy to justify on both financial and operational grounds, but that doesn't make them foolproof to execute. Pitfalls, such as inadequate planning, faulty assumptions or failure to quickly detect postdeployment glitches, can entrap consolidation project leaders and team members at almost every stage.

"Every time [we] felt that we covered every base, that every single thing had been looked at... that's when the danger started," says Latrell, whose project experienced a variety of woes, including underpowered servers, configuration snafus and budget constraints.

Avoiding disaster while keeping a complicated consolidation project on schedule and within budget isn't easy. In fact, Latrell believes that making at least a few mistakes along the way is inevitable. "It will go wrong: Be prepared," he warns. "On the other hand, planning and learning from others will keep you from making the big and obvious mistakes."

While even the most thorough, painstaking planning can't completely eliminate project mistakes, building a detailed virtualisation design and deployment strategy will help minimise the number of gotchas. "Planning is really key for server consolidation," says Justin Gallagher, senior IT consultant at KDSA Consulting.

Five steps to successful server consolidation planning

  1. Begin by researching. Having solid understanding of the different consolidation techniques and technologies will help you pinpoint the approach that best meets your needs.
  2. Set operational and financial goals. Identify exactly what you hope to accomplish in terms of scope, performance and costs before you begin designing the system.
  3. Create a schedule. To minimise disruption to everyday business and IT operations, set a timeline with defined benchmarks. Be sure to build in some extra time to accommodate inevitable project setbacks.
  4. Put it in writing. A document describing project goals, system design details, integration specifics, server management responsibilities and other key points will help you, your team and external partners stay on track.
  5. Build support. As with any major IT project, getting buy-in from stakeholders is essential for a successful consolidation initiative. Make sure your business users understand the benefits, and any pitfalls, of virtualisation.

Thorough planning creates a road map that helps managers gather the knowledge required to avoid most major problems. "I think people aren't spending enough time thinking about the issues of the existing workloads and how you migrate those into a virtual environment, and what does that mean in terms of cost structure, ongoing expense and high availability," says Jeff Nessen, IT consolidation practice manager at Logicalis, a systems integrator.


Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments



Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *