Top five lessons learned from a virtualization veteran

I’ve been involved with virtualization for almost six years now, and I’m still learning new things about the technology — and the community around it — every day.

The major benefits of virtualization are well known to even the most novice users, but some of its gotchas and drawbacks only become apparent through years of experience. Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned during my years working with virtualization:

100% virtualization: Not always a good thing
Being 100% virtualized may give you bragging rights, but it’s not always practical. I learned this one the hard way during a data center power outage.

Leaving some core infrastructure components, such as DNS, DHCP and Active Directory, on physical servers can get you up and running more quickly in the event of a major problem. Virtual hosts are typically dependent on other infrastructure components, and if those components are not available, it can prevent your hosts from starting properly.

Being 96% virtualized is good enough. I like having the safety net of part of my critical infrastructure running on physical servers.

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