Avoid Virtualization Sprawl
Virtualization’s claim to fame is the amount of space it saves in the data center and the efficiencies it creates by eliminating physical servers, conserving energy and even contributing to lower impacts on global warming.
However, after deploying virtualization technology and gaining the initial benefits, companies must be careful not to lose ground again by allowing unused virtual resources to grow.
The end result is the virtual sprawl in data centers—a phenomenon that begins impacting more than half of virtual server implementations within the first year of virtualization. Because of this, getting on top of virtual sprawl before it becomes a problem is an important strategy that every company should include in its data center best practices. Sites that fail to do this start losing on all of the gains they initially achieved when they first virtualized.
To ensure that virtual sprawl doesn’t occur in the first place a meeting needs to be held with end users to agree a set of guidelines for deallocating virtual resources if they go unused for a certain length of time (e.g., 30-day non-use means the resource gets deallocated). The workflow for this should be organised in such a way that there are no surprises. This can be done by having a system that automatically notifies the end user of an impending resource deallocation several days in advance—giving the end user the option of notifying IT if the resource needs to be retained.
In the case of virtual sprawl that is already there, there are no immediate shortcuts. IT must sit down with end user areas that these resources are allocated to and gain agreements on which resources are to be deallocated. The goal of these meetings should be mutual agreement on virtual resource deallocation guidelines that work for both IT and the end business.
From an article by Mary E. Shacklett, President of Transworld Data
Do you have methods in place to avoid virtual sprawl?
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