Hear from Marc after the break!
Virtualization can be a very powerful tool to bring efficiency and flexibility to an environment. Combined with traditional dedicated environments it's becoming a necessary part of a companies IT deployment and should be a big part of infrastructure discussions going forward. Here are some of the questions I'm asked most, and the information needed when deciding to start a cloud environment.
A: There are many open and closed source options available on the platform. You have free products such as KVM, Xen, OpenVz, and paid products such as VMware, Citrix Xenserver, and Virtuozzo.
A: Going with an enterprise virtualization product such as Xen or VMware has many advantages:
It also has some disadvantages:
A: Yes. Microsoft products are supported on Linux/Unix virtualization platforms. Microsoft has provided through support over the years to ensure that drivers for each virtualization platform are fully supported.
A: Start by gathering up information about your specific environment:
The above is the bare minimum your private cloud provider should be asking you to start designing your environment.
Next, you’ll want to determine if you’d like an additional layer of support for your private cloud. Free open source virtualization is often limited to community-based support as opposed to contracted professional services. Your cloud provider will likely have experts on hand, but for peace of mind you may want to have virtualization vendor contracted support.
Lastly I’d look into what administration tools are available for the platform. Will you need to configure the majority of the environment from the command line? Does your cloud provider have it’s own management system? Will you be using the vendor provided management tools? What features do the management system/tools have?
A: The best thing you can ask when working with a provider is “is it appropriate to virtualize everything?” Often providers are so intent on getting you into a cloud environment they forget that they should be providing the solution that works best for all facets of your environment. Remember, the best solution is always what’s best for your business.