Virtualization…

I have been doing a fair amount of work with various forms of virtualization. Past blog posts have mentioned some of the stuff I have been doing at home. At work we are getting set to make a big push to virtualization – mainly for server consolidation.

We’ve been using virtual servers in our test environment for about a year. So far all work there has gone well – most of the time the developers don’t even realize they are in a VM unless I make it known. Over the past few months I have been stressing some of the VMs in test a little more than usual. Most of this more intensive testing was due to testing of an Exchange migration. All of that testing was done in a VM and I did numerous Exchange restores, Exchange upgrades, OS upgrades and then reverting back to the original snapshot. This was all done on a VMware GSX server and worked flawlessly.

With that testing leading to a confidence boost in virtualization I started to seriously consider making steps to implement some VMs in production. So far I have two production VMs – using VMware Server on a Windows host. Both serve critical roles to work at the company (shipping and build-to-order and picklist printing). So far both have been great – none of the users know the server was virtualized.

Growing from this success, full bore planning has started for moving to real ESX servers running on good hardware with hot backup solutions in place. Most likely we will get things approved as I can get Phase 1 implemented at budget or less than budget.

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