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Assessing Your Current Environment Prior to Migrating to VMware Virtual Machines

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This chapter covers the importance of and procedures for assessing your current environment prior to migrating your current physical servers to VMs on VMware ESX hosts.
This chapter is from the book

Before starting on your virtualization journey, it is important to thoroughly understand your current IT infrastructure. By introducing virtualization into your environment, you are making a big change that will have a ripple effect on all parts of your environment. Standard procedures such as monitoring, backups, patching, and administration will all be affected by this. In addition, all components of your infrastructure will most likely be affected in some way by this big change. As a result, you need to assess all parts of your infrastructure, not just the servers you plan to virtualize, to uncover any potential problems or hurdles that may impact your project. The old woodworking rule "measure twice, cut once" also applies with computers. You can save yourself from making costly mistakes by making sure you get accurate measurements before you begin.

Documenting Your Current Server Environment

Most virtualization projects will involve migrating your current physical servers to virtual machines (VMs). Therefore, it is important that you thoroughly understand your current environment before attempting to migrate it to virtual servers. By doing this, you can ensure that you purchase properly sized server hardware and the right number of VMware licenses. It's a good idea to do a thorough inventory of all your current physical servers so that you know exactly what you have before you start virtualizing. Also identify what you intend to do with the old physical hardware after it has been virtualized. Often, you may end up reusing newer physical hardware as ESX hosts. It's best to decide what you will do with your old servers as part of your planning so that you will know exactly what hardware you will be discarding, reusing, and leaving alone.

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