With all of the press about cloud computing bombarding you, remember that it all starts with virtualization. Whether you are just starting to virtualize your datacenter or are a seasoned veteran of virtualization’s growth over the last ten years, the virtual environment for cloud has to be robust.
Start with a review of a planned design or a check against best practices for an existing environment. The robustness and scalability is a must for successful cloud initiatives. Key areas to review are clustering, network, storage, business continuity and disaster recovery, security and staff capabilities. If any one of these areas is weak, it will cause the whole infrastructure to be compromised. Just like picking a physical server for these types of features, you must build your virtual infrastructure to handle the anticipated load and growth anticipated.
One example–when you virtualize servers in your datacenter, you will be taking all of the islands of storage and combining them in a SAN environment. This has to be able to handle the current capacity and I/O– be scalable, stable, have BC/DR to successfully provide the data to all of the virtual servers and meet your existing and future requirements.