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Upgrade Preparation Checklist

Last week’s VMworld Europe show confirmed that new products are still coming. While we still don’t have a very clear picture of what the future will hold, now is a good time to clear up some loose ends in the current virtualization landscape before the changes start ushering in. Here are some points to think about in this transition time for VMware environments:

- Engage in a health check assessment. This small service can ensure that the fundamentals of your virtual environment are solid before any substantial changes are brought in. These services will vary by provider in scope, price, and deliverable, but are a good way to get an assessment of your environment from an outside perspective. These services are available by VMware directly, hardware vendors, software integration services, or analyst firms.

- Refine monitoring. Have you looked at available monitoring tools recently? There are some amazing tools out there, and many of them free. The virtual appliance marketplace and open source space are offering additional tools that can benefit almost any environment (more on this in a future post).

- Make your final push to remove older virtualized OSes. One pitfall of virtual environments is that the push to upgrade outdated OSes in the traditional sense is relaxed, as those virtualized OSes can effectively live forever. This may be a time to get older OSes like Windows NT and Windows 2000 VMs out, and upgrade to a more current OS. Future versions of virtualization products will drop support eventually for these products; vCenter Converter, for example, has already started this process.

- Training budget preparation. With a next-generation virtual environment on the horizon, it may be wise to get a budget lined up in this tough economic landscape. Even if a purchase is not on the horizon, I believe the training should be a priority for virtual environments.

This a short list of some things you can do it advance to set the stage for bigger and better things. Send me a note with what your organization is doing to prepare, or share your strategies in the comments section below.

Posted by Rick Vanover on 03/03/2009 at 12:47 PM


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