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Linux server virtualization -- When is it appropriate?

Linux server virtualization can be useful to the right shop, but may not always be the best solution VARs can offer.

What are the first steps a VAR should take when considering using Linux to virtualize a SMBs shop? What should a VAR be aware of before taking on a Linux server virtualization project?
VARs must have a strong understanding of what the client is looking to accomplish before starting a Linux server virtualization project. Virtualization is wonderful, but there must be real reasons for it to be useful. Customers will typically use Linux server virtualization to save money on hardware and/or increase the overall use of resources within a physical box. Other benefits include greater flexibility and speed of deployment of new host systems. If the physical box doesn't demand maximum performance, virtualization may not be the best answer for that client.

But assuming the customer has a legitimate need for virtualization, there are a few things you need to consider. Before taking on the project, you must have the resources on your team capable of architecting a virtualized environment. These architects and engineers need to be able to determine how best to use the benefits of virtualization for the customer. They should also have training in the virtualization technologies that they will be implementing.

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