Many enterprises have found that as long as proper principles are used in the design of the virtualization platform that management of most of the applications that have been virtualized to date, can easily be accomplished by having the VMware administrator leverage the ever growing feature set of VMware vCenter Server (formerly known a Virtual Center). It is true the the feature set of the VMware platform (everything in blue below) combined with Virtual Center is the market leading virtualization platform from the perspectives of market share, functionality, and scale/performance.

However, as enterprise embark upon the next phase of virtualization – the phase that will address business critical and performance critical tier 1 applications, a new set of management challenges emerge. The challenges are caused by the following dynamics:

  1. The owners of business critical tier 1 applications currently own the configuration of their application, while relying upon IT to own and support the underlying operating system and hardware platform. Virtualization collapses the entire hardware and software configuration into a virtual machine that has to then be jointly managed.
  2. Applications owners are accustomed to dealing with performance problems by throwing hardware (and money) at the problem. Putting these applications in a shared resource pool saves the company a ton of money (and drives the ROI from virtualization), but it increases (in the eyes of the applications owners) the risk of performance problems that the applications owners cannot then easily fix by adding capacity.
  3. Virtualization tier 1 applications places a great value on other aspects of virtualization management like security, backup and federating provisioning.

For these reasons, enterprises are urged to look at virtualization management as a separate purchasing decision from the decision to purchase and standardize upon a virtualization platform.  Third party vendors are likely to be more in tune with the requirements of constituents other than virtualization administrators, and products from these third party vendors are more likely to provide robust support for multiple virtualization platforms. While most enterprises who are virtualizing tier 1 applications are standardizing upon VMware vSphere for reasons of maturity, performance, and scalability, it is wise to put in place a management stack that keeps ones options with respect to other platforms open in the future.

Virtualization_Management_Overview

While virtualization management defined in this manner is a very broad topic, covered by multiple analysts here at the Virtualization Practice, we would like to focus the rest of this article on the topics of configuration management and service assurance. In particular we would like to highlight three webinars that the Virtualization Practice is hosting this week in this area, in cooperation with sponsoring vendors.

akorri100x30 The Secret to Maximizing Virtualization ROI in the Dynamic Data Center. The unique challenges of managing virtual infrastructure performance and the analytics you need to track it. Presentations by The Virtualization Practice and Akorri.
fortisphere_100x30 Beyond vCenter: What’s Lacking, Why Its Important and How Virtual Service Management Can Help. Presentations by The Virtualization Practice and Fortisphere.
xangati100x30 Xangati Virtual Desktop Performance Management Webinar. Learn the 5 things you must do to ensure a good VDI end user experience. Presentations by The Virtualization Practice and Xangati.

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Bernd Harzog (323 Posts)

Bernd Harzog is the Analyst at The Virtualization Practice for Performance and Capacity Management and IT as a Service (Private Cloud).

Bernd is also the CEO and founder of APM Experts a company that provides strategic marketing services to vendors in the virtualization performance management, and application performance management markets.

Prior to these two companies, Bernd was the CEO of RTO Software, the VP Products at Netuitive, a General Manager at Xcellenet, and Research Director for Systems Software at Gartner Group. Bernd has an MBA in Marketing from the University of Chicago.

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