Real-life VMware virtualization pitfalls: Free chapter download

In 'VMware vSphere 5 Building a Virtual Datacenter,' authors Eric Maillé and René-Francois Mennecier share data center virtualization pitfalls.

VMware vSphere 5 Building a Virtual Datacenter, co-authored by Eric Maillé and René-Francois Mennecier, presents information to help companies mitigate data center virtualization problems as they evolve from physical data center to a virtual infrastructure to cloud computing.

Eric MailléEric Maillé

As Maillé told us in a Q&A about VMware virtualization pitfalls, IT departments go through three phases of virtualization: IT's infrastructure services, business applications and services offered to users. Each phase has the potential to make a company's operations more efficient and less expensive but also comes with its own set of virtualization pitfalls IT teams must avoid. Maillé and Mennecier take readers through VMware vSphere 5's architecture and licensing, as well as considerations for storage and virtual machine (VM) management, backup, host monitoring and other granular aspects of virtualization.

René-Francois MennecierRené-Francois Mennecier

The book's final chapter covers the experience of a real VMware customer who virtualized an enterprise information system. The company's experience involves identifying which servers and applications are eligible to be virtualized, how to size and design the target architecture and how to keep the project's scheduling and budget on track.

The company profiled had to create VM management rules. For example, it now automatically decommissions VMs that are inactive for a predefined period. The IT team identifies dormant VMs, those that were started but remain inactive, and determines the cause for inactivity so it can decommission extra VMs.

In this excerpt from Chapter 8, Managing a Virtualization Project, the profiled company is setting up its physical to virtual (P2V) migration:

The transformation of physical machines into VMs is organized based on the date at which support ends and on power consumption. The migration will take four weeks. PlateSpin Migrate is selected for the P2V migration because the potential period of time for service interruptions is very narrow. This tool is chosen instead of VMware Converter because it allows the differential synchronization of physical machines to ESXi servers by using planned tasks. Using the same tool, it is also possible to start a target VM and test it in isolation before its final switchover, thus ensuring the VMs indeed boot for critical applications.

Migration scenarios are drafted based on the following priority criteria:

    • Power consumption: The goal is to rapidly free up energy resources used by the datacenters, using it to deploy all migration waves while ensuring the quality of services if a datacenter is lost. Therefore, the migration of the servers that consume the most power (in kWh) is considered a priority.
    • Hardware obsolescence: Migrating older servers — some of which are nearing the end of the manufacturer’s warranty — lowers the risk of failure.
    • Migration dependencies: Groups of physical machines must be migrated taking into account their interdependence.
    • New requirements

Download the complete chapter

Editor's note: The chapter excerpt from VMware vSphere 5: Building a Virtual Datacenter, by Eric Maillé and René-Francois Mennecier, is available courtesy of VMware Press, a publishing alliance between Pearson and VMware Inc.

Eric Maillé is an enterprise technology pre-sales consultant at EMC, VMware's parent company. He is a VMware vExpert 2011 and 2012 award recipient. He is VCP (VMware) and Cloud Architect (EMC) certified. René-Francois Mennecier is a senior consultant on private clouds for enterprise accounts at EMC. He is also a VMware vExpert 2012 and holds VCP and Cloud Architect certifications.

This was first published in October 2012

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