Host Virtualization Candidate Checklist

While I am a Virtualization advocate, & I believe you can virtualize almost every application out there. Yeah note the bold almost in there, as there still some applications or hosts you might want to take further consideration before virtualizing them. Why this topic now? I am currently working with a customer on a P2V engagement plan, where the customer wanted to identify their top virtualization candidates, where I have pulled this list to help them eliminate bad candidates to start with.

Below is a good check list that I frequently use when I want to check if a an application/host is a good candidate for moving to a virtual environment as a fresh install or even P2V conversion. I thought I will share in case others are curious if their particular app or host is a good candidate or what they should be checking for:

– Does the physical machine use serial ports? (Work around available)

– Does the physical machine use parallel ports? (Work around available)

– Does the physical machine use USB devices? (Work around available)

– Does your system require any physical hardware dongle?

– Does your host use any special hardware devices like a special telecommunication pci card that cannot be virtualized?

– Does your application vendor support it in a virtual environment?

– Does your application have any known issues when running in virtual environment? It might be worth doing a quick online search and checking with your vendor and other institutes who run the same application in a virtual environment?

– How will your application license be affected by Virtualization?

– Is your system is using Encryption Key Management that’s not Virtualization Aware?

– Does your application require a higher specs than supported by your virtualization platform?

While some of these has a work around available, for example the USB devices can in most time be resolved by using a USB over Network solution or when you pin a VM to a particular ESXi host to use its serial or parallel port, it usually invoke extra challenges, which makes these VMs are not the earliest to target during a consolidation engagements, while they can be targeted at an advanced stage in the process.

Let’s go and virtualize the world!

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