Most datacenter moves are now virtual rather than physical. They involve shifting servers and business applications via communication networks to a duplicate image of computer equipment, which is physically hosted at the new datacenter or on virtual hosted servers. While a virtual move has many advantages, recreating a mirrored virtual datacenter that duplicates current datacenter production systems is far from easy.
Key Issues with virtual datacenter migration
Businesses often rely on Physical to Virtual (P2V) tools to move to new virtual datacenters. P2V replication tools clone copies of servers to virtual machines running under a Cloud Hypervisor or to new datacenter machines.
The P2V “virtual lift and shift” approach has many drawbacks:
- The disc storage on the target VM needs to be at least as large or larger than the original source server. Virtual servers need to be exact duplicates rather than properly scaled virtual servers.
- P2V replicates storage clutter.
- P2V offers no ability to consolidate workloads from many source servers to a single virtual clone, or to split workloads from the original physical server across many virtual targets.
- Reconfiguring virtual P2V clones makes it difficult to sync the original source servers and virtual clones during a cut-over.
- P2V requires complex reconfiguration of IP addresses, network connections, drive mappings, and database connections to make applications work on the virtual clones. Plus, peripheral drivers must be modified or replaced to work on the virtual clone.
- Patching and maintaining individual legacy OS instances created with P2V clones becomes an ongoing problem.
Best practices in virtual datacenter moves using Migration Intelligence
Migration Intelligence is key to solving the challenge of moving workloads in scale to a new and improved virtual datacenter. What do we mean by Migration Intelligence (MI)? At the simplest level, MI means; Be smart about what you move and how you move it. Figure out what you need to move before you move it, then be smart about how you move it.
Take advantage of the time provided by a virtual datacenter move to optimize and thoroughly test moving or cut-over. You can make better choices, which will improve the operation and ongoing costs of running your new datacenter.