Best Practices

Virtualization Architecture

It is best practice to holistically manage physical and virtual resources, network devices and applications from one single point of control.  

Hosted versus bare-metal

Before implementing virtualized systems, you need to determine the type of virtualization architecture to use in your datacenter. There are two major types of virtualization architecture: hosted and bare-metal.

  • In hosted architecture, an operating system (OS) is installed on the hardware first. Next software, a hypervisor or virtual machine monitor is installed. This software is used to install multiple guest operation systems, or virtual machines (VMs), on the hardware. Applications are then installed and run on the virtual machines in the same way as on a physical machine. Hosted virtualization architecture is more useful for software development, running legacy applications, and supporting different operating systems.
  • With bare-metal architecture, the hypervisor is installed directly on the hardware rather than on top of an underlying operating system. VMs and their applications are installed on the hypervisor in the same way as with hosted architecture. Applications that provide real-time access or data processing benefit from bare-metal virtualization architecture.

Since guest operating systems communicate with the hypervisor rather than the physical hardware performance statistics measured through the guest OS don't reflect physical hardware performance and are unreliable indicators of performance. The resources allocated to a guest OS often vary at any given time making it difficult to use baseline deviation as an indicator of performance. The sharing of hardware resources by the virtual guests also makes it more difficult to locate and troubleshoot performance problems. Additionally since virtualization adds a new layer of complexity to your network, it is best practice to holistically manage physical and virtual resources, network devices and applications from one single point of control.

Ipswitch WhatsVirtual virtualization management software automatically discovers, maps, and documents physical and virtual resources including host and guest machines so you can rapidly isolate the root cause of problems anywhere in your environment. WhatsVirtual native integration with the VMWare API lets you collect performance metrics across your virtual infrastructure. And because WhatsVirtual is also a WhatsUp Gold plug-in, you will be able to display virtual server performance statistics along with information from your physical servers, and get alerted of problems happening anywhere in your network -- servers, applications, devices and virtual resources. 

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