How to get started with virtualization

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Could you offer some step-by-step advice on how to get started on a virtualization pilot?

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You can start by reviewing the current product offerings from Microsoft and VMware for example. Microsoft offers Virtual Server and PC, while VMware offers VMware Server and Desktop, as well as ESX or Virtual Infrastructure platform.

Since you are interested in a pilot, I recommend downloading the free resources available from both Microsoft and VMware to get started. You can also tool around with other vendors. These are simply the ones that I use most often.

Topics that will be of interest to you are converting physical machines to virtual machines — a process known as P2V.

The best recommendation that I can provide with limited input is to simply get your hands dirty by playing with the technology. You should also invest in some learning companions such as <i>VMware ESX Server: Advanced Technical Design</i> by Ron Oglesby and Scott Herold and <i>Virtualization: From the Desktop to the Enterprise</i> by Chris Wolf and Erick Halter.


To be honest the first thing you need to understand is what you want from virtualisation? what is driving you towards this technology. is it consolidation, containment, high availability or less admin.

all these and more will help you decide on which way look a nd who’s virtualisation to look at.

do you want bare metal virtualisation or a hosted solution, mixed OS or single.

to be honest part of the process is to decide what you want from it then look at who offers what you need.

as a rule,

Hosted VMware, Virtuozzo, Microsoft
Baremetal VMware , Xenserver, Virtual iron
High availability VMware, Xenserver
Lower admin VMware
single OS Virtuozzo

Now thats just a start, work out what you want then visit the website and as Wrobinson says get your hands dirty and play.

hope this helps


Discuss This Question: 4  Replies

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  • Anil Desai
    1) Create a list of virtualization candidates: Look for existing workloads or new applications that could be deployed within a VM. 2) Get organizational buy-in: Make sure users are on-board and want virtualization to succeed (if they're not on-board, it's likely that things will fail for non-technical reasons). 3)Create an evaluation plan: Details should include what to do if you run into performance problems, and ways to mitigate risks of lost productivity when you run into unexpected problems. 4) Justify virtualization: Take the time to calculate cost savings, administration issues, licensing, and software requirements to demonstrate virtualization benefits to management. 5) Start with a limited deployment: If possible, migrate a few users of a non-mission-critical application to using virtualized workloads. Note that most of these recommendations are related to the non-technical side of things. Ideally, if virtualization works well in your environment, end users won't care (and won't even know) that you're using VMs for their workloads.
    855 pointsBadges:
  • Donnellymp
    Over at we did a podcast specifically for channel guys who want to get started selling VMware. You can see the podcast here.
    430 pointsBadges:
  • Donnellymp,296293,sid99_gci1282798,00.html
    430 pointsBadges:
  • Mustang71
    As I am aware you can download VMware workstation on your PC then download ESXi via VMwareGo and create a new worstation in the VMware workstation and play with it using ESXi
    35 pointsBadges:

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