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6 Common Virtualization Mistakes on Servers

Server virtualization is an increasingly popular practice for businesses of all sizes. Although it has been around for quite some time, it’s something that many companies are just now discovering. It allows an organization to consolidate multiple operating systems on a single server, which has a number of benefits. For starters, it reduces the number of physical servers required, and that improves energy savings as well as server and desktop provisioning.

Server virtualization also means that you’ll have increased uptime and availability, as well as improved disaster recovery. With so many benefits, it’s fairly obvious why businesses are eager to take advantage of server virtualization. However, as server virtualization becomes more prevalent, so do some common mistakes associated with its adoption and implementation. Let’s take a look at six common mistakes made in server virtualization.

No. 1: Overprovisioning Virtual CPUs

Just because your car’s speedometer goes to 140 mph doesn’t mean that you should drive it at that speed, and the same kind of thinking holds true when it comes to designating your CPU resources. Sure, that new server rack has a seemingly infinite amount of RAM, but that doesn’t mean that you need to give virtual machines more power than they actually need.

Instead of designating a large amount of power to a few machines, it’s better to give them adequate power to do what they need to do—and leave yourself the option of adding more VMs down the road as needed.

As you’re installing applications and services, think about whether or not it will be used to avoid giving VMs more than they need.

No. 2: Not Handling Licensing Properly

Improper licensing is one way to get yourself in legal trouble, so it’s a critical step to take care of. Before you make any purchases, do your homework and make sure you know (and follow) all of the licensing requirements. That includes the licensing for both the guest and host operating systems, and for any installed applications.

Software licensing agreements can be especially tricky in virtual server environments, and not all vendors have the same terms for their licensing agreements. You’ll have to make sure you read and understand each licensing agreement, and know what you can (and can’t) do. You may need to invest in services and processes that will help administrators manage software licensing to avoid running into compliance issues.

No. 3: Choosing the Wrong Storage

Although hard disk drives (HDDs) have long been the automatic choice for storage, they have their drawbacks — such as their reputation for sudden crashes and catastrophic data losses. Solid state drives (SSDs), with their high speed and their ability to process a high volume of data, are tailor-made for the virtualized environment.

While SSDs cost more, they also are a better fit for the virtual environment if you can find room for them in the budget. However, the most important thing to avoid when it comes to storage is to mix and match the two.

Combining HDDs and SSDs into a virtualized environment basically removes the benefits that made you invest in SSD to begin with. If the SSD has to wait for the HDD, now you’ve lost SSD’s advantage of speed. If you’re not in a position to invest in SSD, don’t make the mistake of trying to combine the two. While it might sound good in theory, the reality is much different.

No. 4: Using Outdated Hardware for Virtualization

Relying on older servers when you’re implementing virtualization could keep you from getting out of the starting gate. If you’re going to use older computers for some of the tasks, that might be an option, but make sure that your server is new and up to date enough to manage the workload that you’re about to request of it.

Using old servers can create a few different problems, such as licensing and driver issues. And, just as you wouldn’t put an old engine in a new car and expect top performance from it, an old server just isn’t going to get the job done as well./

Take careful inventory of what you have and what you need it to do for you. If a brand new server isn’t in the budget, consider buying a certified refurbished server from Aventis Systems.

No. 5: Making Your Host Server Do Too Much

Once you have a virtualization server, that is the only thing it should be used for. It can be tempting to try to get as much work as you can out of the server, especially if you’ve just dropped a significant amount of money on the hardware. But trying to make it perform too many tasks is simply asking for trouble.

Think of your server as a thoroughbred, not a workhorse. You brought it in to do one job; don’t saddle it with several other jobs just because you think it’s up to the task.

No. 6: Leaving it Alone

The whole “set it and forget it” concept might work well in the kitchen, but it’s no way to take care of your virtualized server. It needs the same kind of care that you’d give to a physical machine, which means you’ll have to conduct maintenance, monitor its performance, make sure applications are updated and that security is up to date and doing its job.

Understanding Your Virtualized Server Options

When it comes to creating a virtualized server environment, there are a lot of different options, which can make the choices seem overwhelming. At Aventis Systems, we help make it easier for you by offering plug and play virtualization servers.

Some of the best server options for small to medium businesses are the R630 Virtualization Host Server or the Dell PowerEdge R630 Servers and MD3420 Storage Virtualization Cluster Superior. At Aventis Systems, we can help you determine what type of virtualized server is best for your environment, based on what it is you need to accomplish. And we’ll make sure your equipment is compatible to ensure that you get the best results and fastest performance.

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