“My whole life has changed dramatically since my boss decided it was time to cut back in our IT organization. He complained that some of us were slackers. It wasn’t our fault, really. After all, whenever he needed more of us in the past, he just went out and brought in more. True, we sat idle most of the time, waiting for that special moment when we would be called into action. That didn’t bother me, though. I didn’t mind taking a few breaks.
Then along came the reality of rising energy expenses. Heating and cooling costs started to skyrocket for the data center. To make matters worse, it became even more expensive and demanding to try to manage all those physical servers. So, my boss made a strategic decision — we went virtual.
What’s going virtual all about? Well, instead of having a nice, cozy system all to myself, I have to bunk with a bunch of other servers. We all share closet space, sleeping space, and some office space. And now I never get any sleep. Backup makes a big racket all night long, and then the Web takes right over on the morning shift. There is no privacy and no peace and quiet.
There’s No Place Like Home
Virtualization was a good move for the company, but what about me? Now, I’m working nonstop in a much smaller work space. I feel like a nomad and never know where I’ll be moved next to meet changing business and workload conditions. OK, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m a server. But not just any server. I switched from being a physical server to a virtual one. It wasn’t easy. And it didn’t happen overnight.
In many ways, this whole move has been a promotion. I’ve taken on more responsibility and am working closer to my full potential. I’m more fit, productive, and agile. Yes, I’m lookin’ really good. And although I miss my old friends — the servers who are now sitting around on a loading dock somewhere — I have plenty of new virtual servers to keep me company. They move around a lot. Some of them are in a stack, waiting for their turn to go help out. And sometimes I get a break, too. It’s just not for long. At least I’m no longer bored.
The real challenge for my boss is figuring out how to manage services in an environment like mine — one in which the services are always moving among physical resources. He needs to know which virtual resources are delivering which services. And he needs to know which physical devices are hosting them. It makes my head spin, but this information is essential for managing the data center efficiently.
I’ve done some research, and I think it’s important to eliminate the risk and operational expenses associated with management of virtualized data centers, whether or not you’re moving to the cloud. The technologies should help you manage based on business priorities and address capacity management, performance management, availability, security, and more. You should be able to map services to the virtual and physical resources that support them. And it’s important to track which virtual server on which physical host is supplying services. At a minimum, the right solutions can help can ensure that whatever my friends and I are doing, we’re in the right place at the right time so that we’re as productive as possible.
Virtualization is an important technology. At any rate, I can’t wait much longer to get credit for all of the extra effort I’m putting in as a virtual server. After all, I’m saving the company money, I’m working harder than ever before, and I’m even doing my share to help make the world a greener place.”