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Physical to Virtual Migration – Part 1

This article on the migration of physical machines to the VMware virtual environment will be a three-part series.

In this first part, we will take a look at the following:

  • Difference between Physical and Virtual infrastructure
  • Benefits of migrating to a virtual environment
  • Pros and Cons of Virtual environment
  • How to move from physical to virtual
  • Considerations to be checked before migration

In the second part, we will take a look at the overview of VMware free migration tool – VMware vCenter Converter, and how to perform P2V migration.

In the third part of this series, we’ll look at a powerful solution that provides data protection and also ensures seamless cross-platform migration across multiple hypervisors (V2V), or across different workloads (P/V).

Difference between the Traditional Physical & Virtual infrastructure

Traditional Physical Infrastructure

In this, the resources and components of a physical server are not shared between multiple users. Each physical server includes own memory, processor, network connection, hard drive, and an operating system (OS) for running programs and applications.

Typically, in the physical infrastructure, the servers don’t have a sufficient amount of resources or they don’t completely utilize the allocated resources such as CPU, RAM, Storage. This is because many of the servers sit idle as the workload is distributed to only a few servers on the network. In addition to that, the physical servers also consume a lot of power and require separate maintenance.

Virtual Infrastructure

Virtualization means the creation of virtual resources such as a server, desktop, operating system, file, storage or network. Virtualization allows you to utilize the computing resources completely by partitioning a physical server into multiple virtual servers, defining each server a specific OS and application. These virtual servers look and act like a physical server but are highly scalable and resources can be used efficiently.

Benefits of migrating to a virtual environment

Infrastructure Footprint Reduction

Consolidation of servers with virtualization will reduce the overall footprint of your infrastructure with minimal energy utilization, efficient utilization of resources, less networking gears and of course only a smaller number of racks is needed. All these valuable points will result in good savings for the company.

Break Hardware Aging

Nowadays technology is evolving much faster and it demands higher infrastructure requirements when it comes to processor speed, energy efficiency, RAM size which often leads to buying new servers or replacing existing. All your applications running need to be based on the current hardware specifications and technology advancements which will obviously be a challenge in your IT budget.

Aging infrastructure brings additional costs as it results in performance degradation, rising maintenance costs, energy inefficiencies, an increase of unplanned downtime and more. Virtualization abstracts the underlying hardware and gives more flexibility, better performance, right resource allocation & utilization when compared to physical servers.

Test and Development Environment

Using virtualization you can easily build an isolated test and dev environment which drastically reduces the investment for building an infrastructure for testing and development purposes. Traditional physical infrastructure to virtual infrastructure migration will free up many servers which you can utilize to build a test and dev environment.

Ease of Management

Comparing to traditional physical infrastructure, virtual infrastructure is very easy to manage. In the traditional way, you must access individual servers to access the operating system and application whereas in a virtual environment from a single logon you can access all virtual machine console. Virtualized environment is not limited to maintenance and access, it has also other great capabilities like disaster recovery, security, server provisioning, monitoring, and automation.

Legacy Applications Support

Legacy Applications will not run in modern operating systems or hardware. Due to hardware failures or any other issues, companies face challenges to run the application. In such a case, moving to VMware Virtualized environment will be the best option to keep running the legacy application. Virtualizing your infrastructure and migrating the application to a virtual environment will extend the use of the application with higher uptime.

Moving to Cloud

From past years, we all know about virtualization and many organizations are moving their infrastructure from Physical to Virtual. And Cloud is the next journey of virtualization and moving to a virtualized environment from physical infrastructure is the first step to move into the cloud.

From Virtual infrastructure, you can easily move to a private cloud environment or you can migrate directly to public clouds like Azure, AWS, etc. Organizations should prepare for the new technology and be ready for the transformation, so it’s very important to convert your physical infrastructure to Virtual.

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