A new methodology Featured

7:00pm EDT February 24, 2008

Significant benefits can be gained with wide-scale virtualization. Holistic virtualization is the next step in the evolution. It is imperative to have a strategy to pull everything together for best results.

According to Jaymes Davis, virtualization practice specialist at Entisys, “The most important thing about VOA methodology is that it is a new, trademarked methodology that is sweeping the industry as the de facto standard for building virtualization architecture. It is time to consider what it can do for you and your company.”

Smart Business talked with Davis for his insight into holistic virtualization.

What is holistic virtualization?

It is defining solutions and architectures within your environment to work with virtualization technologies. A methodology has been created for transitioning and adapting to the virtualized workload. We have found that holistic virtualization has become the mindset in today’s market around solutions that integrate everything from hardware, software and applications because of its benefits. Prior to this point, people believed certain workloads would not work in this space, and we are finding that this is not the case.

What’s the VOA methodology?

VOA is the virtualization-oriented architecture. It is a methodology that has been defined to create an assessment that captures the logical definition of your existing environments, i.e. processes, inventory, forecasting, architecture design and implementation planning. The VOA identifies soft costs and hard costs when you are thinking about consolidation, new services, business continuity planning or disaster recovery. It is a holistic view of virtualization that employs the virtualization ecosystem to ascertain a strategy versus utilizing it as a tactical solution.

Why this methodology? How was it created?

The VOA methodology was created by the deployments and implementations for SMB to enterprise customers and finding processes and logic structures as well as information architectures that helped create the stepping-stones for this process. When aggregating the data, we found that certain subsets of logic indicators played out in all the scenarios, i.e. VM sprawl, forecasting host scalability as well as defining architecture and processes, which allowed us to create and base the VOA methodology on an ITIL format with an emphasis on performance and perception.

Why should people move to virtualization?

From desktop users to managers of data center infrastructure, people move to virtualization for a number of reasons. The main reason is to create new service capabilities within their own environment and to create time to market improvement of their business. Another reason is consolidation and disaster recovery (business continuity planning). New opportunities for virtualization have been found in desktops with VDI architectures, providing more cost savings, mobility and stability scenarios than ever.

How can a virtualized company benefit from the VOA methodology?

Existing virtualized companies can benefit from the VOA methodology through the evolved assessments, the VOA foundation services and the VOA comprehensive assessments. These expanded services were created to further adoption of the new technologies and service methodologies for your existing environment. If you don’t have an ITIL-based change management or a service delivery model for your virtualization platform as well as chargeback, these expanded methodologies are for you.

With so many different virtualization platforms, how do you choose?

It is important to provide a choice for customers after defining the logical structure and requirements within an organization. This helps create solution architectures and scenarios with most hypervisors and hardware configurations while embracing CAPEX and OPEX before defining a strategy for a company. Because there are so many choices and virtualization has such a big ecosystem, it is important to make sure that the solution presented is customized to fit those variables.

Are there workloads that can’t be virtualized? How does that tie into holistic virtualization?

There are workloads that can’t be virtualized but can still benefit from virtualization-oriented architecture. Nonvirtualized workloads can utilize tools from third-party vendors as well as platform supportability to augment its capability to participate. Virtualization can play a part in disaster recovery for the nonvirtualized workload at a reduced capacity or a service replacement once identified.

How long does a VOA assessment take and what is the cost?

VOA assessments for Phase I take approximately two weeks. The latest virtualization appliance technologies, project implementers and project engagement services are utilized to fulfill Phase I assessments with speed and accuracy. Cost varies based on the server count, but the return on investment and savings can be staggering.

JAYMES DAVIS is virtualization practice manager for Entisys Solutions. Reach him at (925) 270-8230 or jaymesd@entisys.com.