Learn how your organisation can optimise its onboarding and use of VMware technologies
February 23, 2022
VMware’s products have become a crucial aspect of more than half a million enterprises’ IT infrastructures, but many organisations aren’t utilising them to their full potential.
In conversations with our clients, we have uncovered some key pain points and challenges faced with both onboarding and implementing VMware’s broad portfolio of products. Keep reading to learn more about these challenges and how Q Associates can help.
VMware: Products That Have Revolutionised IT Infrastructures
VMware’s products have been a powerhouse in the IT sphere since 1998. The US-based cloud computing and virtualisation software provider helps organisations manage the breadth and scale of technology solutions on their servers and effectively manage and secure infrastructure, all while keeping costs down.
VMware’s virtualisation technology allows businesses to sidestep the high storage and processing demands that traditionally required deployment of multiple x86 servers, which were unable to operate at capacity and caused huge inefficiencies across the infrastructure.
VMware is the first commercially successful company to provide software that virtualises the x86 architecture and enables businesses to run applications like servers, storage, and networks on a single server.
However, despite VMware’s pedigree and huge portfolio of product features, many organisations find it difficult to take their software investments to their full potential.
So how can organisations gain visibility of their VMware environment and realise the full value of virtualisation for IT transformation? Keep reading to find out.
Hybrid Cloud Migration
In our recent UK IT Leaders Survey, 30% of respondents said that their primary 2022 IT strategy focus was hybrid (multi) cloud systems, with cloud applications coming in at 34%. This significant focus on cloud technology isn’t surprising, considering how essential it is for most modern business strategies.
Organisations running virtualised environments on premises have historically experienced many challenges, including significant capital expenditures, use of resources, and time maintaining onsite servers. Likewise, in this model, licences are generally purchased with large and lengthy Enterprise Licence Agreements (ELAs) that are inflexible and unable to scale quickly to accommodate the ever-changing business needs.
To lay the foundation for modern application development, increase agility, and reduce cost, IT leaders are migrating their infrastructure to a cloud model that often spans multiple public cloud providers and their own data centre.
This allows organisations to consolidate data centres, expand capacity and address resource constraints or replace ageing infrastructure with the latest cloud innovations.
Hybrid cloud migration is empowering IT departments to transform static server and network infrastructure into dynamic, virtualised resource pools. These resources can be provisioned on demand based on evolving business and technical needs.
By deploying new or existing VMware workloads in a hybrid cloud architecture, you can achieve substantial benefits while using the same familiar tools, resources, and capabilities you currently employ with on-premises VMware deployments.
Cloud migrations, however, can be challenging to navigate. They usually require specialists who can ensure proper structuring and organisation during and after the migration. These specialists are also keenly aware of best practice for these migrations.
For example, one problem Q Associates commonly comes across is failure to consider right sizing during migration. Right sizing is a key mechanism to significantly reduce infrastructure costs, but it’s often ignored by organisations when they first move to the cloud in preference for saving time. They decide to lift and shift their environments and ‘right size’ later. While this may result in a faster migration, it also creates oversized instances and a lot of wasted spend on unused resources.
This is just one instance of problematic cloud migration, and there are many other challenges organisations face during the process. These can all be mitigated by a knowledgeable and certified consultant like Q Associates, who offer an Optimisation Check for a streamlined approach for migrating VMware environments to the cloud.
A Stage 1 VMware Optimisation Check includes:
- Right sizing to understand your organisation’s usage needs and patterns and know how to take advantage of the cloud to respond to those needs.
- Identifying abandoned or inactive VMs and reducing excess capacity to save costs.
- Expert coaching and guidance tailored to your environment.
Whether public or private, if you are replatforming, rehosting, refactoring, or hybrid, Q Associates can support streamlining your migration strategy and getting the best out of any cloud platform you choose, today and into the future.
Securing Data and Maintaining Compliance with Cloud Infrastructure
Keeping up with security and compliance can be challenging, especially in highly regulated environments. Organisations want to ensure the data in their multi-cloud environment is protected, but it’s sometimes easier said than done.
For example, they must have strong encryption and key management solutions that run natively with VMware environments, but the dynamic nature of cloud environments can mean that resource lifecycles are often short-lived. IP addresses, ports, and other network parameters are no longer as reliable as they once were. Compounding this is the fact that other more traditional data security solutions no longer work in the cloud.
On top of this, any security solutions must also be proven to meet strict and often confusing compliance regulations. Meeting these regulatory requirements is just one of the many reasons why maintaining a secure, high-performance platform is essential.
Ensuring security of virtualisation solutions has been a noticeable pain point for many of the clients who begin working with us. They want to ensure all aspects of their VMware technology deliver effective security, but they often don’t know how to navigate this effectively.
This is where our Q Associates VMware Health check can make a huge difference. Delivered by our certified specialists, the check is designed to provide insight into your VMware environment and your operational efficiencies. This virtual environment ‘tune-up’ will:
- Identify any gaps in performance and security
- Ensure all patches are in place
- Recommend performance improvements, better resource usage and heightened operational efficiency
The result is clear scoring against VMware and industry best practises applicable to your environment.
Improving VMware Performance Through Upgrades and App Management
At some point, organisations utilising VMware will begin to question whether they need to consider upgrading their environment. They may want to explore virtualised desktop implementation, expand virtualisation across the entire IT infrastructure, or build a hybrid cloud infrastructure.
Organisations need to carefully assess their current infrastructure environment to determine what they need, and whether these needs fit within time and budget constraints. They also need to consider issues associated with choosing not to upgrade – namely, whether there are risks from running older non-supported software in their environment.
As we mentioned earlier, scalability, increased built-in security, high performance, and rapid self-service access to infrastructure are vital to IT. In many instances, an upgraded infrastructure is necessary to maintain these features.
Q Associates VMware Upgrade Assessment services can add strategic value at every step of the process. First, we assess your current infrastructure environment and evaluate its readiness. We also define best practice for deployment and outline requirements for hardware compatibility. We then determine organisation IT transformation goals and options to simplify ongoing upgrades and hardware management.
Our fully qualified VMware technical specialists provide expert VMware upgrade services and support that enable organisations to modernise their IT environments.
The VMware Upgrade Assessment includes:
- Pre-engagement planning: clearly defining and documenting project goals, requirements and success criteria
- Architecture and operations technical audit and analysis: introduce and explain key product features, capabilities and benefits
- Current environment gap analysis recommendation document
- Design and plan the implementation, and transfer knowledge through documentation
- Verify upgrade: ensure conformity, functionality, patch management and security
Scaling up your VMware environment isn’t the only way to improve performance. Another consideration is managing modern apps on any cloud platform.
This is where containers come into play. They help to free apps from infrastructure and enable them to work independently and run anywhere. Unlike virtual machines and native cloud services, containers can be easily moved between on-prem data centres and any cloud service you prefer. This means they also offer consistency throughout the entire application lifecycle, and arguably most importantly, they enable continuation of legacy applications without overhead and portability challenges of virtual machines.
VMware Tanzu allows you to make the most of containers by both automating the security and delivery of containerised workloads and proactively managing apps in production. Our clients have found Tanzu to be a game-changer for their app management but exploring proof of concept designs and implementing them has been a challenge.
With our ten-year partnership with VMware, we have in-depth knowledge and expertise on products like Tanzu. Get in touch to explore more about Tanzu and how it can revolutionise your organisation.
Accessing the right VMware Services
With constant changes to software, cloud platforms, and products such as VMware, technology services have become as crucial as ever. Q Associates is on hand to help you utilise VMware’s evolving technology stack to its fullest whilst spending less and innovating faster.
We are a VMware Certified Partner and a Data Centre Virtualisation Master Services Specialist to the highest standards, from consultancy and health checks to upgrade assessments, active support and project roll-outs.
Our fully certified VMware solution architects have expert understanding of VMware’s extensive portfolio and provide the resources, technical knowledge, and service offerings needed to deliver a digital foundation.
For expert help migrating to VMware, running health checks, and looking into upgrades, contact Q Associates today.
Get In Touch
Contact Q Associates today if you have any questions or would like to discuss your IT requirements in more detail.
Tel: 01635 248181