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Understanding Challenges in Virtualization

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Dawn Altnam is a regular contributor.


Experts expect cloud computing to have exponential growth in the near future, and it’s not just corporations that will have a hand in it.

Small and medium-sized businesses will also move to cloud services, which means that the underlying infrastructure and hardware will move away from

servers to virtualization, the foundation of cloud computing.

Plenty of good things that will come from the change, including decreased need for physical maintenance and an increase in jobs, but virtualization is not without its challenges.

These difficulties have prevented large data centers and small businesses alike from making an ultimately beneficial move.

Consider the following challenges that are among the most cited by opponents…


Application Awareness

Application awareness is a big deal, and might be something you’ve already struggled with.

Virtualization only works when apps not only work but take advantage of the new structure.

However, virtualization includes the ability to run VM instances from other computers or devices, which can sometimes result in limited app availability.

Virtual migration and issues with assigning IPs due to the ease of bringing up new images further compounds app availability.

However, not all is lost…

Advanced IP and session management tools can perform health checks and monitor virtual machines to ensure that apps are available when they should be, and that connections to other images are still able to launch an app from the correct location.


Security Conflicts

You’re convinced that virtualization is the way to go, but you’re not the one with the power to make it happen.

What do you do when your boss asks about security?

As it stands, virtualization does pose some security challenges.

There’s both the issue of maintaining a secure platform and for VM-specific security.

Some people have found themselves

frustrated at the way individual images that all perform the safe security scan on a daily basis, only to be negatively impacting the entire virtualized network.

Fortunately, virtualization developers have begun to pair up with security companies, which means new solutions to existing problems — security and viruses — that don’t cause new ones.

Software that doesn’t require installation on every image is one example of a more effective way to handle security.


Storage Challenges

Storage challenges may lie at the heart of your doubt about whether virtualization will work for your company because you’re not sure if your physical hardware is going to get the job done right.

You might quickly run out of resources, which is something that becomes a problem with serial virtualization.

When you make numerous server images, ghosts of those images are also created.

If you create unnecessary images,

they’re still a drain on your resources, including space.

The solution to your storage woes requires you to plan ahead.

Today’s equipment should be scalable, even if you don’t need more storage at this very moment.

Moving to equipment that can be expanded when you have a need will save you a lot of frustration in the future.

storage hypervisor that reroutes I/O requests on the way to the actual hypervisor can improve performance and reduce storage needs, too.


Vendor Challenges

Cloud vendors have been a great resource for many small businesses to enterprises looking for reliable, scalable storage.

However, an issue that really became the topic of discussion in 2012 was the rather user-unfriendly cost of incorporating vendors for data storage: vendor lock-in.

Once contracts were signed, vendors took more control of transferred data than originally thought.

Client data could not easily be transferred to vendor competitors should there ever be a need to.

In some cases, it was the fault of the incompatible software between competitors; however, the fine print of the contract was the cause of many headaches involving the lock-in.

Removal of data from one vendor would be such a painfully slow process that companies were forced to stay with vendors that couldn’t meet their needs.

As expected, vendor cloud adoption slowed because of this trend – forcing vendors to rethink their contracts and allow better opportunities for their clients.

Vendors, like Rackspace, later revealed the “open cloud” that relieved clients of vender lock-in with a much more open data transfer strategy.

The key takeaway is to fully understand the contracts of each cloud vendor before signing data over to them.

There are options.

Summary

The key to successful implementation of virtualization for any business is a good understanding of its capabilities and its limitations.

Discovering exactly what your business needs in data storage is essential for efficient data storage and a manageable cost.

Fulfilling both needs will save your business many headaches as data technology continues to advance into the future.

What Are Your Thoughts??

Has your company moved or is planning on moving to the cloud?

Have you gained some insightful information here that would benefit a savings?

If you have already moved to the cloud, what can you add to Dawn’s points here for our audience?

Please share your thoughts in our comments section below!

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Dawn Altnam

Dawn Altnam

Dawn Altnam is a regular contributor to The HRIS World, be sure to see her other articles listed just below.

Dawn lives & works in the midwest and loves following the business tech world.

After furthering her education, she now spends her time researching her interests and blogging her discoveries quite often.

You can reach Dawn via email, social media or by leaving a comment below...

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