When it comes to virtualization, the old adage – “The more things change, the more they stay the same” – couldn’t be truer. Sure, data is growing exponentially, and everyone is trying to make sense of what their data means, but when it comes down to virtualization, the reason companies deployed it in the beginning – to get more out of their hardware – is the very same reason they are deploying it today.

Today, virtualization is more of a strategy than simply a tactic as it was in years past. When it comes down to it the most important question organizations continue to ask when evaluating their strategy is:

Are we fully optimizing our virtual infrastructure?

As you’re evaluating virtualization optimization and your current infrastructure, here are a few questions that you should ask to assess what may need improving:

1. Does my current virtualization strategy support our business-critical applications?

Like most organizations, you are likely operating numerous business-critical applications, and the moment you lose access to those applications, you may start to lose money. As a result, you might have chosen not to virtualize certain applications because of concerns about server performance. But, with advances in flash, it’s time to evaluate if you can now virtualize more enterprise applications in order to achieve better VM consolidation. In the end, consolidation will result in cost-savings and you will have peace of mind that your business-critical applications won’t be compromised.

2. Does the technology I have deployed offer a “hands-free” approach?

Dedupe and compression can take time and valuable resources, but they are important in ensuring your virtual environments are fully optimized. For example, having to manually dedupe 200 virtual desktops, while ensuring that the latest updates have not been accidentally deleted, is a tedious process. Manual dedupe and compression might be one reason you have avoided deploying more virtual machines. But, the good news is that there are solutions, including IntelliFlash™ Arrays, that offer a hands-free approach to dedupe and compression. You don’t have to think about storing 200 copies, but rather you can rely on your array to retain a single copy and update, accordingly, as changes are made.

3. Can I easily shift from “hands-free” to “hands-on” to manage the virtual environment?

Sure, hands-free sounds great, but there might be times when you actually need or want to go in and make changes.  Accordingly, to reach full optimization of your virtual environment, you want a solution that makes it easy to move from “hands-free” to self-management. Your virtual environment should work for you – you shouldn’t work for it – so ensuring you can do what you want, when you want to do it is imperative.

Your virtual environment should work for you – you shouldn’t work for it.

4. Am I able to integrate easily with new technologies?

Finally, integration. It sounds like a no-brainer, but oftentimes technology is built for today, not for what is around the corner tomorrow. Consider your current virtual environment or the virtual environment you hope to create, and ask yourself if the technology easily integrates with other technologies, but also if the vendor who created the technology is thinking about what might be coming in the future (advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning, composability, etc.).

Round Table – Building a Next Generation Data Center

If you would like to learn more on this topic and hear and see, via a demo, how IntelliFlash Arrays are driving virtualization optimization, join us at the upcoming EcoCast by ActualTech Media, Optimizing Your Virtual Environment. On May 8, and on-demand after, multiple vendors will come together to share innovations and insight on the best strategies for optimizing your virtual infrastructure. Don’t miss it!

Additional Helpful Resources

eBook: Flash Storage Virtualization for Dummies

Analyst report: Resolving the $/GB Problem of SSD in Virtual Environments

See our solutions for virtualized environments.

Seth has over 30 years of experience in the tech industry and is responsible for solution marketing for Western Digital Data Center Systems.