1 November 2009

Shifting To Virtualization

Virtualization is not just a project or a small change; it is a complete shift not only in hardware and software, but in thinking as well.

By Lyle Worthington - Technology Executive and Consultant & Past President of HFTP Global

By now most people have heard about the different kinds of virtualization out there. Moving your organization to any virtual environment requires altering how you support and manage your infrastructure and your users. Where you once had many individual resources each managing their own load, now you have few consolidated resources each sharing multiple workloads.

In the old model, if you lost a resource you might impact one application or one user. Now losing one resource could mean many people and many applications are affected. Your backup and disaster recovery strategy for each individual server might not be sufficient for this new model, as the slightest problem can have a much farther reaching impact. Each resource must now be given more priority and be more extensively monitored and backed up. Similarly, your IT staffing model might be as streamlined and efficient as possible in your current environment, but might be lacking necessary skills to properly set up and maintain a virtual environment. Virtualization is not just a project or a small change; it is a complete shift not only in hardware and software, but in thinking as well.

Shifting Your Infrastructure
When moving to a virtual environment you are taking a distributed set of resources and centralizing them. To understand fully what that means, let's consider a few simplified examples of the different types of virtualization.

Storage Virtualization. Data sets that used to be distributed among multiple physical servers and hard drives are all loaded on a centralized device (such as a storage area network or SAN) that different servers can access. You can even boot your servers from a SAN so you no longer need dedicated hard drives in your physical servers.

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Lyle Worthington

Lyle Worthington, CHTP is a hospitality technology executive, advisor, mentor, and world-renowned technology consultant with over 20 years of diverse technology experience ranging from software developer to CIO. He is currently the CIO of The Student Hotel based in Amsterdam and President of HFTP Global. Lyle has served on and chaired several boards, committees and councils specific to the hospitality industry, and has been an active voice for technology in hospitality for more than a decade. He regularly speaks at industry events and has written numerous articles for global hospitality technology publications.