Ever since the advent of modern age of Information technology we have been constantly under reforms and advancement ranging from storage solution like magnetic tapes to micro SD cards. Similarly, now we have physical servers along with virtual servers which cater to our various business and professional needs. The virtual and physical server has created space for the question what is server management? This in simple words is the technique or method of handling data and services provided by a server to its users. Even though, Physical Servers are the best way of doing things if you wish to seek highest productivity and total control of your resources and tools.
- A very big difference between the virtual and physical server in terms of management is the ease with which virtual systems can be management. For physical server extra attention needs to be paid towards the physical conditions of the server and system. However, consistency and standardization additionally become a much bigger issue once managing virtual servers along with physical machines. Also keeping configuration and OSs’ up to date becomes really difficult in virtual machines with passage of time.
- Virtualization may offer very easy deployment and to keep the sprawl under control same processes are required in virtual server as compared to physical ones. Proper policy-based management and inventory tools can facilitate IT departments to keep check on the number of servers. By introducing life-cycle management process for your server within which a physical or virtual server's usage and status from day of initiation to shutting down is kept under tracking. The inability to stop bad habits of deployment will create different challenges for the people in managing virtual machines.
- Some people may suggest using open source tools but these tools generally lack integration making it really troublesome when we try to integrate them. Thus commercial and enterprise software are recommended as they provide a better package for deployment and delivery. Also existing management tools work pretty well for both the physical and virtual servers. Still we have lots of solutions and applications coming in that are totally dedicated to virtual servers.
- Bundled Hypervisors may be useful and productive but their usage and performance can’t surpass the performance of other vendor’s products. Also most of the networks run more than one hypervisors thus we may need to consider our approach towards virtual server management.
- Try and explore all the options available in the markets for virtual server management ranging from paid ones by companies like Microsoft, etc to freeware and open source ones by Hyperic, Veeam, etc. Some of these like Hyperic feature really good integrations and discover both physical and virtual servers while providing incorporation of virtual instances into systems. Still freewares are not ideal choice for this purpose due to lack of various features.
Even with these tips one must keep in mind their requirements while choosing the platform for their usage and also be keen about the budget and keep in mind what is server management actually means. In case of a shoe string budget you can also try out freeware and open source solution but if your performance and productivity is getting affected then you should try to look out for a budget based solution that fulfills your needs and gives great performance without blowing a hole in your pocket. When it comes to integration using same vendor or service provider surely does help due to obvious compatibility and ease of integration between products of same provider.
While virtualization may seem like a really good option to some businesses and service sectors there are still different sections of various industries where dedicated servers are needed thus making virtualization obsolete in those scenarios. Thus, tying together the virtual and physical server is a very good option and hence the above listed point can be very useful. Try to keep your patch work handy and done regularly with respect to your servers to ensure safety of your data and servers from prying eyes and predators of hacking world.
In the end try to explore your options, keep eyes and ears open and reviews by users and critics are really important when making decisions about a product or service from any vendors no matter how reputed they might be in the industry they hail from .
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