If you are in the process of virtualizing your IT environment (or budgeting for it), you are probably spending lots of time hardware shopping, trying to determine the best hardware to select for your Hyper-V hosts, reevaluating your current hardware for repurposing, etc. There are so many options these days, and if you are like my IT folks, you want to make sure you get the most bang-for-your-buck. You’re considering things like:

  • Storage capacity, speed and redundancy
    • NAS v SAN
    • RAID 10 v RAID 6 v RAID x
  • Processor cores/threads
  • RAM
  • Network bandwidth
  • Clustering and failover, CSV’s

I’ve been studying for the Microsoft Virtualization certifications, and this is one area that I found to be pretty enlightening. Part of VMM (Virtual Machine Manager 2008, 2008 R2 and 2008 R2 SP1), is a pretty neat a feature which performs host compatibility checking and rating. Conceptually, this feature evaluates a host for suitability as a target for deploying or migrating a guest. This checker considers the following components and compares compatibility between the new host and guest:

  • CPU model and utilization
  • Memory utilization
  • Disk I/O
  • Network utilization

You can rate the important of each (weight them) and you can set an overall goal for VM deployment:

  • Optimize to resource balance (make sure I use all available resources on one host before moving to another)
  • Optimize to load balance (distribute VM’s across hosts to attain greatest performance)

When you are selecting your host hardware and associated resources, you should consider what your business requirements are. For example:

  1. I’ve got a really tight IT budget, and I’m willing to sacrifice a little bit of performance to be able to virtualize with as low cost as possible.
  2. My company requires optimum performance from its IT infrastructure, and any time spent waiting on transactions to process is very expensive. The ROI on powerful hardware to load balance my servers is high and I need to invest in hosts to maximize responsiveness.

So after you make your purchase decisions, you can set your VMM placement goals to match the business criteria you used to purchase your hosts.
And while you are virtualizing, you should consider Unitrends Enterprise Backup software for Hyper-V. It can protect your physical and virtual environment during and after your virtualization project. Check out our new virtualization website and our FREE BACKUP FOREVER!!!

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Unitrends increases uptime, productivity and confidence in a world in which IT professionals must do more with less. Unitrends leverages high-availability hardware and software engineering, cloud economics, enterprise power with consumer-grade design, and customer-obsessed support to natively provide all-in-one enterprise backup and continuity. The result is a “one throat to choke” set of offerings that allow customers to focus on their business rather than backup.