In the past few years, the virtualization market has slowly evolved from a flat landscape to a mountain peak many enterprises successfully scaled. Recently, that mountain has emitted the rumbles of a productive volcano, as players in the hypervisor market try to shift each other out of the way.
At first, the sole source of heat in this space came from one main hypervisor, VMware. Since then, the market has grown to include numerous hypervisor choices – VMware, Hyper-V, Amazon Web Service, OpenStack – and the friction between them could erupt in the data center if IT leaders make poor choices. Today’s IT teams are trying to determine how to deal with this growing proliferation of hypervisor choices before the virtualization platform volcano explodes and they are lost in a lava flow of increased costs, complexity and VM sprawl. There are a few steps businesses can take to make sure they are prepared and out of the danger zone:
- Know why you are adopting multiple hypervisors. If you are listening to all the promises from the hypervisor vendors and scratching your head about which one will truly save your firm money and time in the long run, the best thing to do is closely examine the benefits associated with each alternative. Scrutinize your IT needs; what is driving you to diversify your virtualization environment? Is it that you have a want to avoid being locked into VMware? Is it because multiple hypervisors sound cool? Most likely it is somewhere in between; you want to gain the flexibility of multiple platforms and leverage public clouds. Companies are being driven to multiple hypervisor adoption for pure economic rationalization, especially as enterprise license renewals costs rise.
- Test-drive the new platform. Don’t implement your hypervisors directly into production mode. Test and development labs are excellent places to try out new hypervisors AND the cloud management platform needed to run them. In fact, there are lab management solutions that allow you to test these products fully, providing automated provisioning of environments. Lab management programs, like Embotics vCommander, fully test hypervisors to create the desired agile environment and can continue to be used as cloud management platforms when the hypervisor moves to production.
- Carefully select a hybrid IT management platform. You will want a cloud and virtualization management solution that allows you to work with any cloud or any hypervisor. You don’t want to be locked into just one platform. As the age of hybrid cloud dawns, you will want to take advantage of the multi-hypervisor environments of VMware and Hyper-V on premise and OpenStack and Amazon Web Services for public cloud resources.