SunGard Availability Services Outlines Steps To Guide Virtualisation

Today, many organisations are investigating virtualisation with an eye towards advancing data centre consolidation strategies to decrease IT costs.

hidden December 18, 2008 16:10:00 IST
SunGard Availability Services Outlines Steps To Guide Virtualisation

SunGard Availability Services, a provider of enterprise-wide information availability, has outlined four essential steps for companies looking to add virtualisation technologies to their data centres. These steps help organisations examine the business and technology upside and risks related to migrating to virtual infrastructure.

Today, many organisations are investigating virtualisation with an eye towards advancing data centre consolidation strategies to decrease IT costs. These initiatives can also reduce power and cooling outlays, and cut data centre space requirements, supporting green IT initiatives.

"Whether driven by a data centre move or consolidation, building a clear case for both IT and business managers on the expected benefits of a virtual infrastructure is an essential foundation to project success," said Mark Stoecklein, senior director, Technology Solutions Practice of SunGard Availability Services.

For virtualisation initiatives, companies need to include these four steps:

1. Examine why you want to virtualise.

Only by looking at both business and technical drivers can a company determine whether virtualisation is the right course. Here, companies examine issues most important to them such as are they looking to reduce the server footprint in their data centre or are they running out of power for their data centre and their utility cannot provide more. Additionally, this stage is where you balance business requirements against possible alternative solutions - such as managed services - to determine the best course for your company.

2. Assess what you want to virtualise.

This step helps you determine which applications and hardware can best deliver virtualisation's benefits to your IT environment. At this stage, organisations discover and document applications, servers, networks and storage devices to determine the best virtualisation candidates. With this information, you can build the business case for virtualisation.

3. Develop your virtualisation strategy and design.

With this step, companies develop a step-by-step implementation plan that includes cost analysis for software, hardware and services. One area often overlooked during this step is information availability. Some vendors position virtualisation as automatically providing disaster recovery - or eliminating the need for DR. This is a wrong assumption. Recoverability needs to be designed into the virtualisation solution to reduce the severity and duration of IT-related outages and lessen business risks.

4. Implement your virtualisation strategy.

With this step, companies implement the physical to virtual environment plans. You should follow best practices to ensure success. This means starting with a proof-of-concept system by piloting non-critical applications. Companies should implement initial systems in a test and development - not production - environment and then scale systems from there. Another priority needs to be testing failover to a secondary site to ensure disaster recovery is working flawlessly to safeguard information availability.

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