2007 Budget Time – Year of Virtualization

I have been able to put into place a pretty successful first run at a virtual infrastructure. I have convinced management enough to virtualize the entire test/ development/ sand box/ limited QA (shhhh) environment on to our first ESX boxes. We currently have implemented around 90 virtual machines on our 6 ESX servers. Has it always been pretty or without struggle? Certainly not. We initially deployed on dual CPU xSeries 336 without ServeRaid 6i card. Big mistake — not one I will likely make ever again with its horrible write performance.

Our current environment is extremely responsive on dual-core xSeries 366, which are the fastest Intel-based platform for ESX 2.5 pre-Woodcrest. All the former applications which had issues suddenly gained to vitality with the exception of some Websphere resource hogs. Former environment, which had no test environments, now have a place to test patches and upgrade procedures without extending another wall in the datacenter. SQL 2005 now has a place to be evaluated in the environment without carrying another 5 year old OOW (Out of Warranty) box on the books.

This brings me to planning for year 2007 budget. What is on the horizon for Virtualization in our organization? If everything I have projected is approved (why wouldn’t it be?), my company’s number of virtual servers and ESX hosts should double a minimum. We will finally implement VMotion into production, and the new techonologies of DRS and HA in VI3. Additionally, we may change our disaster recovery strategy for VM’s from individual backup agents to one that utilizes ESX Replicator. Enterprise DR may also be revolutionary changed by focusing on replicating DR to our hotsite rather than focus on individual machine backup and recovery. We may finally realize some of the true highlights of virtualization outside of the server consolidation and datacenter benefits.

The point is everything on the table (especially in light of Netware’s future at my organization) for this coming year.

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