Many IT organizations have embarked on initiatives to virtualize their enterprise infrastructures in an effort
to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and reduce energy consumption. In particular, server virtualization
is a significant part of any “green” IT initiative. It not only helps reduce server sprawl, but it also provides
the ability to quickly meet changing business and workload conditions. According to Gartner, the
installed base of virtualized machines will surpass four million by 2009, up from just 540,000 in 2006.
To tackle the challenges of virtualization, you must do more than simply migrate services from physical
to virtual assets. You must control the full lifecycle of virtualization in your data center — from planning
to configuration to management — across a broad range of virtual and physical server technologies.
This approach makes it possible for you to develop, implement, and maintain your virtualized environment
in a way that ensures high service quality and agility, without sacrificing management control
or regulatory compliance.
Effective planning involves optimizing the assignment of virtual servers to physical servers. This strategy
maximizes the use of physical resources while maintaining service performance and availability. The
right approach to configuration involves dynamically provisioning virtual servers to physical servers
without violating corporate policy or regulatory compliance. Effective management means maintaining
the virtualized environment at required levels of performance and availability.
Each of these three areas — planning, configuration, and management — presents a challenge. Virtualization
adds a whole new level of complexity to the IT infrastructure that necessitates an evolution of
service management processes and solutions. These processes and solutions must be “virtualization
enabled.” This means that they must be evolved not only to tolerate the virtualized environment, but
also to enable IT to exploit virtualization to its full potential.
Virtualization-enabled service management processes and solutions must enable IT to manage the
virtualized environment from a service perspective. This presents a particularly vexing problem because
the infrastructure services are continually moving across physical resources in the infrastructure. Effective
service management in this fluid environment requires answering not only the question, “Where is my
server?” but also “Where is my service?” To answer these questions, you must know — at all times
and for all services — which virtual resources are delivering which services, and which physical devices
are hosting which virtual resources.
- Examines the advantages of virtualization and the issues that could inhibit its widespread adoption
- Discusses the implications of virtualization with respect to service management processes and solutions
- Describes the criteria that service management solutions must meet to be truly “virtualization enabled"