Virtualization infrastructure plays an important role in the transparency, flexibility, and planning if best practices are applied in its design. While you may inherit an infrastructure, rather than designing one from the beginning, it’s best to step back rather than continuing to support “good enough” policies. Therefore, initiating a plan to get back to design principles can help you form a good basis for maintenance and management in the future.
You should regularly refine your plan to determine whether it makes sense to integrate new technology. What may have lacked integration or support, or had an unreasonable price tag just a couple of years ago may be a practical solution now. In addition, you need to have policies in place for recovery. While virtualization infrastructures are typically designed for availability, all organizations eventually experience failure. Preparation for such an event and disaster recovery are key aspects of a complete design vision.
Even if you’re currently working with the perfect virtualization infrastructure for your situation, it may still fail without the right level of flexibility. Cloud migration and digital transformation are moving targets, and IT needs an approach to infrastructure that will keep up.
Create a plan with virtualization infrastructure design principles: You may be working with an infrastructure that has separate networking, compute, and storage elements, but you may find it beneficial to shift to a converged or a hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) to fit your future needs.
The most compelling reason for HCI is the streamlining of the separate functions. The resulting density can put a lot of pressure on power demands, so if you have a data center with aging server racks, you can anticipate some issues. If a full HCI plan isn’t possible, you can incorporate shared storage pools through virtualization hosts or take steps toward this practicality with a distributed approach and a gradual reduction in infrastructure costs.
Plan for failure: Your virtualization infrastructure must assume that failure is inevitable. Your design likely prioritizes availability and has features in place to prevent an outage, but don’t fall into the trap of assuming that hardware failure isn’t a possibility.
Failure preparation must be incorporated as a design principle. This allows for faster recovery by having extra hardware prepared and documenting changes. Because failure often stems from human error, documentation can help your organization track the origination and prevent future problems. Even if the problem can’t be tied to a simple error, documentation helps keep stakeholders up to date on the recovery plan.
Embrace flexibility: Your design needs to meet your current needs but also those of the future, so you need to build cloud and hybrid options into the deployment of your infrastructure. If you’re like most organizations, your migration to the cloud hasn’t followed a clear path but may have taken a few messy turns with a variety of services that aren’t coordinated. You may face some challenges in your organization, but it’s important to get your current cloud services organized and then create a path for the future, including infrastructure planning.
To learn more about how these principles can be applied to your virtualized infrastructure, contact us at TailWind. We can help you leverage the right technologies for your organization’s future growth.