The benefits of virtualisation are numerous: centralised IT management, faster hardware resources, improved business continuity, and reduced overhead costs. It makes perfect sense for everyone to jump on board. But to maximise virtualisation’s benefits, beginners should follow the following best practices.
Conduct an assessment
Evaluating your IT environment is an important step in the implementation process. After all, you can’t just start virtualising your office without a plan. An IT assessment performed by an impartial managed services provider (MSP) helps you understand what type of virtualisation solution you need.
For example, if the report shows that your computers don’t have enough processing power to run certain apps, then desktop virtualisation (which consolidates operating systems and apps into a single powerful server) is an ideal solution.
From there, you should be able to estimate costs and set realistic timelines for its implementation.
Don’t forget about hardware
Just because virtualisation frees up space in your server room, does not mean hardware is no longer an issue. No matter what type of solution you opt for, the servers you use must be strong enough to support the entire company’s computing demands.
This means you must take stock of your apps and their hardware requirements and make sure your server has all the processing power, RAM, network capacity, and storage necessary to run them.
Underutilised servers are excellent candidates for virtualisation, but purchasing new equipment may pay dividends in the long run. If you choose the latter option, ask your provider for recommendations. Chances are they’re partnered with virtualisation-optimised hardware vendors that offer top-of-the-line servers.
Prevent VM sprawl
Virtualisation allows you to deliver computing resources to workstations in your network via virtual machines (VMs), which can be created on a server in just a few minutes. While this lets you scale and provision resources quickly, there are risks if you don’t have someone regularly reviewing which VMs are worthwhile and which are outdated. You could be losing out on cost savings and efficiency benefits.
When too many VMs are created, they can quickly consume server resources and complicate licensing and asset management.
To prevent sprawl, you must establish policies and restrictions for VM creation. For instance, users must have a solid justification for creating a VM (e.g., testing software or provisioning apps for new users).
Prioritise business continuity
You must also protect the hardware running your virtual servers. Make sure to lock up server rooms and have secondary servers available in case the first one breaks down. While you’re at it, take advantage of automated backup solutions that make copies of your VMs and their files regularly.
Work with experts
Building and maintaining a virtual infrastructure is no simple task. That’s why you’ll want to work with a specialist who can guarantee a seamless implementation and provide continuous management services.
For more tips on virtualisation, call our experts today!