What Should I Virtualize?

Virtualize everything! Well, maybe not everything; determining which servers to virtualize is probably one of the most time-consuming tasks you will do while planning your virtualization implementation. There are factors that range from performance and supported operating system to the hardest part of all, politics. We’re going to leave the politics to the politicians and focus only on the technical components of virtualization.

There are five major system components that will drive your choice to virtualize a server or workstation.

• Disk IO
• Memory Utilization
• Processor Utilization
• Network Utilization
• Operating System

Disk IO
Disk IO is the input and output (IO) of data to a hard disk. Disk IO is measured by the number of IO operations per second (IOPS) that can be performed. When planning a Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V environment, it will be critical to provide enough IO performance from your disk subsystem to the host server or servers to support the IO requirements for the host and each virtual machine you implement. When you are implementing a new virtual machine or converting a physical machine to a virtual machine, the virtual machine itself will use the same amount of IO as it did or would have if it were a physical server. Also, the total amount of IO isn’t just the sum of the virtual machines; it must also include the IO of the host. While doing this, keep in mind that you will someday add more virtual servers to that host.

Memory Utilization
Memory utilization is how much Random Access Memory (RAM) a system uses for the base operating system as well as for the applications that run on that system. The amount of memory a system uses can go up and down depending on the workload a server is experiencing at any given time. Knowing how much memory your guests use at load and on average will help you determine not only how much memory you will need to purchase for your host systems, but also how many virtual machines you will be able to place on that host.

Processor Utilization
Processor utilization is how much throughput your CPU is doing at any given time. Each task or process that runs on a multitasking CPU must share CPU cycles. This is important because if a task is already heavy on the CPU, there is less time for the CPU to work with other processes. With the creation of multicore processors there are more CPU cores available to do the tasks at hand. When you do the analysis of your current machines, pay close attention to the utilization and the type of processors that are in your systems. This will help determine the number of virtual machines that can fit on a host machine.

Network Utilization
Network utilization is the amount of network usage of a system. This usage is generally expressed as the amount of bandwidth being recorded over a period of time in megabits per second. The network utilization rate is the ratio of current traffic to the maximum traffic that the port can handle. If network utilization rates are high, then the network is busy. If they are low, then the network is idle. If the rate is too high, the result is low transmission speeds. However, when we talk about network utilization as it relates to virtualization, we’re talking about multiple virtual machines sharing a single network interface card (NIC). The result is a much more efficient strategy, and one that reduces the amount of network traffic.

Guest Operating Systems
Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V has a limited number of operating systems that are supported to run on the guest virtual machines. Other operating systems might work with Hyper-V, but Microsoft is only supporting this list at this time. Check the Microsoft web site, www.microsoft.com/en/us/default.aspx, regularly to see if Microsoft has added any additional supported operating systems.

Source of Information : Microsoft Virtualization with Hyper V


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