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5 Virtualization Management Principles You Can't Live Without

five resized 600Virtualization and its associated technologies have shaken up the way IT manages its services. Managing virtualized servers, virtualized desktops, and more are a very different critter than traditional IT management. Accordingly, IT departments have to switch gear and organize their systems management around their virtualization technologies. For example, sys admins find themselves working beyond the geographic limitations of the data center and immersed in the particular business units that their applications benefit.

Accordingly, if your IT organization is going to effectively manage its virtualized environment, there are some key elements you need to introduce into the mix:

1.    Give up your allegiance to the box. It’s the most fundamental principle of virtualization, but it’s also the most difficult for sysadmins to grasp. Their focus needs to move from the physical boxes located in their area to all of the virtual servers in their niche, whether that’s load balancing, security, or something else. This can – and should – create a ripple through the organization where the staff in a given facility actually become assigned to functional areas well beyond the data center. Managing that new dynamic can be a challenge, but it pays off big.

2.    Flatten the IT hierarchy. Virtualization provides the opportunity to eliminate some of the mid-level management that previously served to coordinate functions in a given geographic area. Regional managers, for example, can be moved into capacity planning positions.

3.    Move from utility to service. Virtualization lets IT run less like a utility – providing some form of basic, required tool or connection. You can and should run IT like a service, meeting specific needs of specific units. You can also begin to allow users to create a self-service environment, able to allocate VMs as business needs demand it.

4.    Avoid the temptation to make new hires. Virtualization means not only needing people with different skill sets that your current resources, it also means some people will find themselves in an antiquated position. Because of the complexity of today’s IT requirements, you’re often much better off training from within, rather than making new hires.

5.    Automate. Virtualization provides all sorts of opportunities for efficiency, but you have to actually use them. Getting on board with automated provisioning, security, and more are signs that your organization is really taking full advantage of what virtualization offers.

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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.