The process of creating and hosting virtual servers

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Unformatted text preview: e. Attributes such as security, disaster protection, and performance can be defined for a range of levels of service, and then delivered by default. The process of creating and hosting virtual servers will never be quite as simple as cutting another cookie using a template. True policy-based management is an ambitious goal. But when the platform is one integrated system rather than a number of discrete silos, the work required to standardize services and procedures is shared across many more applications. Aim for a private cloud By combining IT resources into flexible pools or clouds, resources can be allocated to applications on the fly, in order to handle changes in load. Those changes can be frequent, and met by automated load-balancing systems that shuffle virtual servers across physical host servers as often as once an hour. They can also occur over much longer cycles, for example to meet end-of-week batch processing loads, end of quarter financial reporting, or seasonal business changes. Moreover, resources can be allocated to new applications on the fly, without the lengthy provisioning times experienced in the physical world. The term “utility computing” has dropped out of fashion, but was the original label used to describe virtualized infrastructures. Now the label “private cloud computing” is more commonly used. Both terms have value. The utility label refers to the fact that virtualization has the potential to transform IT infrastructure into a resource that can be used and paid for very similarly to the way that electricity from a wall socket is consumed. The internal cloud refers to the way that this can be achieved. This is the bigger promise, and the server virtualization software that is currently being delivered is only a step towards fulfilling it. However, IT departments should keep it very clearly in mind. A im for improved relationships with business Offering a set of standardized services to application owners or lines of business will improve relations with those groups. In the best-run IT shops, this will replace lengthy negotiations about service levels with a streamlined process of choosing the appropriate levels of performance, availability, and other parameters. In other businesses, it will speed the settlement of disputes about any perceived failures of IT to provide adequate service. Self-service clouds can also change the way that IT is funded, and make it more transparent and efficient. Rather than expecting lines of business to contribute to capital costs and/or pay ongoing fees for IT services, virtualized infrastructures allow charges to be based much more closely on the actual IT resources consumed. Beware, however, that this may expose heavy use of IT resources by some lines of business, and make them uncomfortable. S TRAIGHTTALK I T 39...
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