Out with the old
One major benefit of embarking on a virtualization project is that it gives IT the opportunity to jettison old hardware and old frameworks. There's never a better time to inspect the whole infrastructure and identify components that have fallen through the cracks, aren't necessary anymore, or can be folded into other tools or projects.
As you step through the planning stages of virtualization, you should pay close attention to anything that can be culled from the back-room herd without too much pain. It will ease the transition and cut down on the number of servers that need to be migrated or rebuilt on the virtualized foundation.
It's also a good time to inspect the network requirements of the proposed solution. Ethernet trunking to the physical hosts is generally a must in any reasonably sized infrastructure. By trunking, you enable the virtual machines to participate on any trunked network, rather than just the Layer 2 network that the host is directly connected to. You can also switch hosts between networks on the fly. It's a very easy way to bring a substantial amount of flexibility into the mix.
Are you planning on running any virtual servers that need to be linked to a DMZ network? If so, it's best that they have a dedicated interface for that traffic on each host, although it's possible to trunk those connections as well. Generally speaking, you should maintain physical separation of trusted and untrusted networks; adding another network interface to your hosts is a minimal cost.
Read more about how to deploy server virtualization right in InfoWorld's free PDF report, "Storage Virtualization Deep Dive," including:
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This story, "How to Build a Solid Server Virtualization Foundation" was originally published by InfoWorld.