The virtual virtualization case study: Lessons

In stage 6, Fergenschmeir's IT assesses the benefits and lessons of its server virtualization effort

Stage 6: Learning from the experience

About five months after the Fergenschmeir IT team had started unpacking boxes, they were done with the server virtualization deployment.

[ Start at the beginning of Fergenschmeir's server virtualization journey ]

In the end, it took about a month and a half to get the VMware environment stable, train the team, and test the environment enough to feel comfortable with it. It took another three months to manually migrate every application while still maintaining a passable level of support to their user base.

Toward the end of the project, infrastructure manager Eric Brown started leaning on outsourced providers for manpower to speed things up, but his team did most of the core work.

In the months following the migration, Eric was pleasantly surprised by how stable the server network had become. Certainly, there had been several curious VMware-specific bugs, mostly with regard to management, but nothing to the degree that they had been dealing with before they rationalized the architecture and migrated to the virtual environment.

The painful act of rebuilding the infrastructure from the ground up also gave Eric’s team an excellent refresher on how the application infrastructure functioned. Eric made sure they capitalized on this by insisting that every step of the rebuild was documented. That way, if another fundamental technology or architecture change was ever needed, they’d be ready.

The rest of the virtual virtualization case study
Introduction: The Fergenschmeir case study
Stage 1: Determining a rationale
Stage 2: Doing a reality check
Stage 3: Planning around capacity
Stage 4: Selecting the platforms
Stage 5: Deploying the virtualized servers