The Right Physical Server Infrastructure to Host VMs

Convert a physical server into a virtual server

Illustration of a cloud server with a key hole for security and a file folder container representing the server

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When it comes to converting a physical server into a virtual server, picking and sizing the correct server infrastructure for hosting virtual machines can be a tricky affair. This is a common doubt that IT professionals face when they consider the hardware choices for their virtual hosts.

Ensuring Adequate Resources

When you are sizing a platform, the basic need for hosting virtual servers is to have adequate resources to meet the needs of the virtual machine. This is fundamentally unchanged for all hypervisors: the physical host offers resources for every virtual machine. Virtual machines comprise of four food groups: memory, CPU, network and disk resources. Usually, the two performance pain aspects are disk and RAM

Hard Drive Selection

There are two dimensions for the disk: performance and capacity. You will require more of both of these than you think is needed for hosting virtual machines. Find out and state the transactional (IOPS) performance needs of storage in addition to the throughput. You also have to allocate extra disk capacity for snapshots needed for backing up the virtual machines. 

Beware of Disk Caches

RAM or memory is used as disk cache by most of the operating systems, but it’s not reported as being used. If you fail to size your virtual machine environment to equip this cache, it can result in poor application performance. Because of this fault, data centers that transform physical servers into virtual will get back to a physical infrastructure. 

The easiest way to selecting the perfect infrastructure is to add the hardware in every physical server you are substituting with virtual machines. You could purchase adequate resources, in order to meet the total of the installed resources, though this may be a costly affair.

Monitor the Resource Consumption 

Another method is to keep an eye on the consumption of resources. If you are aware of your workload better, it’s would be possible to size the virtualization platform in a better way. Find out the quantity of each resource actually consumed by the physical machine and add these figures. You have to purchase adequate hardware for the sum of average usage. Ensure to permit little overhead as your choice of hypervisor requires resources to handle the virtual machines it runs on.

In either of the approaches, there are presently adequate resources for every machine. Just beware of the fact that physical machines don’t perform adequately and consider the machines that require more resources when virtualizing them. Also, do keep some additional budget for these additional resources, because things can go wrong if you don't count the overheads.

It’s always better to take higher capacity requirements into account so that you don't have to limit your resources and rule out the need for buying extra servers at the last moment, which can again pinch your pockets significantly.

So, if you keep the aforementioned points into consideration, it may not be as tough to choose the physical infrastructure required for hosting VMs.