8 virtualization tips every administrator should consider

2021.04.21 03:55:36 By Ermin

Virtualization is running multiple services on your computer system that is linked with the hardware. It can save costs, remove administration complications, and allow enterprises to achieve a higher return on their tech investments.

Virtualization Tips

The following bits of advice will help you achieve those benefits. Many companies have turned up to this technology and for many, it’s part of their past. However, virtualization holds a broader concept with various parts in operation. The key to success is having the accurate knowledge to get things done and reach the primary target. In that premise, here are the 8 tips you would not want to miss as an administrator considering virtualization. 

1. Don’t virtualize everything

Virtualizing everything can be a lot of trouble sometimes. Just like the FTP server that merely catches high traffic and printer server, etc. You need to keep things simple and go with a specific plan, making a sound virtualization strategy. Always ask yourself questions like ‘What is the need to virtualize Server A?’ Answering this question with much confidence will allow you to apply the same method for each server you think might benefit from virtualization. 

2. Plan hardware for virtual capacity

Always seek the required hardware and review your virtual ecosystem plans before purchasing hardware. You must think beyond. This server might host various virtual machines, so it needs more power and space to run and grow. You will never want your host server to crash and run out of space for machines. Measure twice, cut once applies. Never assume a virtual machine to use less space on that server. Last but not the least, never suppose that you’ll host only a single virtual machine.

3. Use of virtual machines for disposable systems

This may sound different to a few, but you often need a service only for some time. The best possible way is to supply a temporary service than with virtual machines. Need a temporary FTP server? Virtual machine. Looking for a temporary Web or print server? Virtual machine. The virtual machine will solve the server issues and cost less than the resource of hardware. You could create a specific virtual machine for certain ‘disposable tasks’ and create them when needed. 

4. Monitor both virtual traffic and non-virtual traffic

Always monitor both your virtual and non-virtual traffic. Never fall victim to thinking that virtual hosts are safe enough just because you can spin up a snapshot anytime. This sense of security is very dangerous and should be avoided. However, monitoring is one step ahead of security. You need to monitor both the internal and external traffic to your virtual machine. After some time, you will know which specific machines require more resources and which alternative machines would be self-sufficient.

5. Create virtual machine templates for easy deployment

If you’re looking to place several virtual machines based on specified configurations, you need to have a set of templates to make the deployment of machines more efficient. This will save you time and require less effort in case you sell a specific service such as Web servers. You do not need to reinvent each time, just create a template and customize it accordingly. This will save money for both you and your client.

6. Use "thick provisioning" for disks when performance is crucial 

Many of the IT admins prefer to create dynamically allocated disks for their virtual machines. Rather, they should adopt thick provisioning to generate maximum performance. In simple words, place an actual size for the disk in virtual machine configuration. For those thick provisioned VMs, you need to ensure you have planned comprehensively to guarantee that the host machine has sufficient volume. The invested time would recover in form of performance gains. And it would be worth it.

7. Install all guest add-ons and virtualization tools

This is no exception. Almost all the virtual machine tools provide guest add-ons and other virtualization tools like VMware and VirtualBox. These VM tools enhance the experience and performance to create a swift connection between the guest and host. However, many admins ignore these installations, considering them to be needless. Installing VM tools including mouse integration, guest-to-host time sync, display drivers, and many more can improve virtual life. These are unnecessary, but they will improve the front-end usability to much extent. 

8. Always keep your host system fully patched 

Most admins take the guest OS for granted and rely heavily on it. It’s true that the host plays a vital role in the process of the virtual machine. So, you will avoid having your VMs hosted on an unsafe machine. And, if that server stays away from hosting a litany of VMs then only a single server’s data would be at risk. However, if that server is hosting various VMs, more data is left vulnerable and some of which could be for clients. So, you need to ensure that the host machine is fully secure and patched up.

We can help you determine if virtualization is the way forward for your organization. If you're fitting, Annexus will help you improve your organizations I.T. Infrastructure and workflow.