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IT Challenge: Surviving server virtualization connectivity issues

In this IT Challenge, we'll explores ways to plan for and weather server virtualization downtime and lost connectivity.

The IT Challenge of the Month for March 2011 is:

My company is considering virtualizing our servers, but we’ve heard some horror stories about connectivity problems and outsourced server downtime. Is it possible to make an effective server virtualization “backup plan” to have in place in case problems do arise after the project is complete? Should this include keeping an in-house physical server?

Do you have a solution to this challenge? Have you encountered a similar issue at your business? If so, please contact the editors and share your suggestions or experiences. 

IT Challenge respondents will receive a free copy of a new book from SAP Press.

And be sure to check back here all this month -- we'll be posting solutions from experts and readers as we receive them.

From ERP and manufacturing industry expert Steve Phillips:

Yes, there are some horror stories regarding virtualization, and there are also limitations to which applications and technologies can be virtualized. Certainly, a rollback plan as you suggested is a good idea, but no rollback is seamless, and can only be used after business disruption has already occurred. 

My best advice is to first talk to other companies that have created virtualization backup plans. Get performance benchmark information from your existing vendors when possible and have a test platform in place. Finally, roll out the virtualization project in steps, starting with your least critical applications.

This was last published in March 2011

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