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Sizing your Cloud? Try A Pre-Configured Virtualization Setup [HP]

Servers, Storage and Networking | Posted on July 17, 2012 by Emily A. Davidson

So you’re tasked with planning you organization’s cloud environment. You have sized your cloud environment and you’re ready to plan your virtualization strategy. Chances are you fit into one of IDC’s five levels of infrastructure convergence maturity:

  • Traditional and compartmentalized (level 1) – The organization has only begun to initiate convergence.
  • Standardized and optimized (levels 2 and 3) – Many best practices in convergence have been implemented but the organization is just beginning to realize benefits such as lower infrastructure costs and IT productivity improvements.
  • Automated and adaptively sourced (levels 4 and 5) – The organization has optimized its IT infrastructure as far as possible given currently available technology. It is now technically capable of offering private cloud services.

No matter what stage you are at, we can all agree that virtualization ain’t easy. Why? Because once you examine your needs, size the environment, look at your applications, begin to virtualize and gauge performance you may run into three common problems where you find:

  • Too many management tools
  • Unaddressed security issues
  • Complications when scaling or extending to the cloud

Now you’re smack dab in the middle of this project and it’s more complex than you initially thought or planned for. Don’t forget after you virtualize you need to ensure easy data access and provide a plan for data growth and long term (or short term) usage numbers to control costs. Sounds like late nights at the office, and time to order takeout. If only this project was as simple as the pre-made food you’re about to order.

Skip the  delivery, it’s a HP VirtualSystem

Wait a second, HP has a solution for that – HP VirtualSystem is a set of solutions optimized for server and desktop virtualization. Built, configured, and shipped as a single solution, HP VirtualSystem supplies a complete, high-performance virtualized environment with pre-tested and pre-configured server, storage, networking, management, and virtualization resources.

Why should I care about a pre-configured virtualization solution for my cloud deployment?

There are more virtual machines (VMs) deployed in data centers than physical machines, and IDC predicts that 69% of all workloads will be virtualized by 2013. In addition, Gartner states that virtualization is the number-top trend for 2012. However, research conducted by the Enterprise Strategy Group cautions that “nagging issues and challenges exist: scalability, performance, and availability are key concerns that must be addressed before organizations can move from a strategy of lowering costs via consolidation of IT utility and productivity applications to improving quality of service.”

The IDC research makes clear that savings in hardware consolidation aren’t sufficient to justify a shift to a converged data center. “Without advanced, unified, cross tier management capabilities, organizations have a bunch of hardwired hardware that can’t do much—definitely not dynamically.”

What are the nagging problems of virtualization?

  • Multiple tier network architectures – Today’s network fabrics fail to deliver the simplicity, performance, and capacity required by the new highly virtualized IT world with its heavy server-to server traffic.
  • Inflexible legacy storage – While focusing on virtualization, organizations often neglect to implement modern storage architectures designed for virtualization. Users face significant storage capacity, performance, provisioning, and management issues drive up the cost and risk of virtual server deployments. Legacy monolithic and unified storage arrays designed for more predictable workloads and physical host to storage associations struggle with unpredictable and mixed workloads and are more complex and inefficient as the environment scales.
  • Difficult to determine expected performance – Service levels in a virtual environment can be difficult to establish and maintain due to unpredictable demand by workloads for compute, network, and storage resources.
  • Too many management tools – Complexity increases with virtual and physical management requirements and incompatible management tools increase operational costs.
  • Unaddressed security issues – Using new and different tools in the virtual world compounds the same old misadministration and mistakes experienced in the physical world.
  • Complicated to scale or extend to cloud – Virtualization is a foundational technology for cloud computing, but it can be complicated to evolve from a virtualized environment to a cloud environment, which delivers greater elasticity, automation, orchestration, and self-service.

To help you avoid some of these nagging problems, check out our blog post called  Sizing the cloud cheat sheet.

How would HP VirtualSystem help?

Since VirtualSystem is a stack of the hardware components with manual management tools for the VMs, it sits within level 3 of the Converged Infrastructure Maturity Model. The IDC report says, “HP VirtualSystem is built on a proven reference architectures optimized for Citrix, HP-UX, Microsoft, and VMware best practices, and is designed to support multiple workloads from mid-market to large enterprise and service providers. It can be expanded with modular components to add performance and capacity, and is built on a common, modular architecture to enable an upgrade to a hybrid cloud computing environment with HP CloudSystem.”

With this solution, you can have any software that’s hypervisor-based and backed by anybody’s hardware. This makes it a great underlying foundation for Cloud.

Ready to make the move to Cloud? Read our Cloud Cheat Sheet: 5 building blocks, 3 service models and 4 deployment models or our Cheat Sheet: Everything you need to know about sizing your Cloud environment to learn more.

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