Having a solid plan - and in so doing, avoiding common mistakes - is the first step.
The key question is whether to roll out that virtualisation plan with an on-premise, in-the-cloud, or hybrid strategy, and the answer is seldom obvious.
The four key elements of a virtualisation strategy include:
1. Assess your data centre. It is very likely that if you are only just starting on the path to virtualisation, you have some seriously under-provisioned assets, and probably numerous information siloes. Introduce capacity planning, and re-evaluate your data sharing environment.
2. Management. Virtualisation’s advantages may be patently obvious, but it does introduce an additional layer of management, which your in-house staff may not be prepared to handle.
3. Who are the stakeholders? A virtualisation strategy calls for buy-in across several levels. The CIO may make the initial call, but it will have an impact across the entire organisation.
4. Specialised knowledge. If in-house virtualisation knowledge is lacking, you may need to embark on either extensive training, or consider a strategy that calls on third-party managed services, or a cloud-based solution to accommodate the lack of knowledge.
Broadly speaking, the largest business goal of server virtualisation is to accomplish more, with fewer capital resources - a goal that any CFO can appreciate. While financial consideration is important, the factors that impact the decision to switch to server virtualisation are varied depending on the industry. Also, potential benefits and current problems need to be identified and prioritised. When considering virtualisation, it pays to identify business goals to determine how virtualisation will help accomplish those goals.