While many IT teams look at virtualization from a device or system perspective, Ewald Comhaire suggests an alternate approach. The Director of HP’s Infrastructure and Service Management Practice recommends that they consider virtualization from a service viewpoint.
“Many unwittingly hide virtualization as an IT project,” Comhaire says. “They think of it primarily in server or device terms. In doing so, they effectively shelter the full benefits of virtualization from the rest of their business.”
He says IT teams have an opportunity to reap the rewards of virtualizing their entire data center solution stack— including storage systems, networks, clients, servers, firewalls, applications and business services—if they can only broaden their perspective and seek some assistance.
“By taking a strategic lifecycle approach, organizations stand to boost the people and process benefits of virtualization in addition to the IT benefits,” Comhaire explains. “But first, they should consider virtualization from the service level down instead of from the technology level up.”
He points to HP services that help establish, implement and maintain a strategic lifecycle approach to virtualization and consolidation. These services are designed to help build an accurate picture of an organization’s existing IT systems and services, determine the desired end state and create a roadmap for getting there.
“The best solution for virtualizing a service might be to deploy VMware on a set of servers, or it might be to build a shared database service using an Oracle® cluster with instances stacked on physical or virtual partitions. In fact, organizations don’t necessarily need virtualization at the server level to get virtualization at the IT service level,” Comhaire notes. “The best practice is to identify the goals and service levels required to meet the needs of the business first, and then design the most effective infrastructure that meets those objectives.”
HP services can build a full understanding of storage, network and compute workloads and establish which ones are good targets for virtualization. HP infrastructure experts can then help determine which workloads to virtualize on the same physical resources, considering the alignment of utilization rates (low with high) and maintenance requirements.
While these services are comprehensive and highly customized, Comhaire adds that HP also offers services for those seeking smaller virtualization projects.
“We always recommend a holistic, service-level approach to get the most out of virtualization, but for those wanting to start small,” Comhaire says, “we offer planning and design services at fixed prices.”
These services are perfect for organizations seeking to virtualize one or two applications, he suggests. Pricing depends on the number of systems and applications being virtualized and how many sites are involved.