Picking virtualization technologies: Top Systems Channel tips of 2010

The hottest Systems Channel tips of 2010 focused on virtualization technologies. SearchSystemsChannel.com also provided some popular tips for VARs to help them create a solid 2011 virtualization strategy.

As more virtualization products became available to solution providers' customers in 2010, it became more important to ensure that VARs did their homework when deciding on virtualization technologies for their customers. The top 10 Systems Channel tips from 2010 offer installation and configuration requirements for hypervisors such as Hyper-V R2, vSphere and XenServer 5.5. Using information from these tips, IT systems solutions providers can form a virtualization strategy for their business clients for 2011.

These tips provide options and license requirements to consider while helping a customer conduct a virtualization comparison, including virtual machine installation in vSphere and how to implement high availability in Citrix XenServer 5.5.

Comparing Hyper-V R2, vSphere and XenServer 5.5 pros and cons
Solution providers should have a solid grasp on the factors to consider when comparing Hyper-V R2, vSphere and XenServer 5.5. Hyper-V R2 features, such as a familiar interface and new integration capabilities, will help make the transition to Microsoft's hypervisor less complicated for your customers. You should also be aware of potential problems that your customers may face with Hyper-V R2, including a lack of third-party support.

SQL Server 2008 R2 system requirements: Hardware and software
Become familiar with the varying SQL Server 2008 R2 system requirements for hardware, software and disk space by reading this tip. You will learn the requirements that are consistent across all SQL Server 2008 R2 deployments as well as the ones that depend on the individual components you are installing.

Creating a virtual machine and VM configuration in VMware vSphere
Creating a virtual machine in vSphere isn't a one-step process for solution providers, and is different than other VMware products. This tip provides the steps and discusses the factors to consider when creating VMs in vSphere, including identifying the VM's hardware version, selecting disk format when creating a VM virtual disk and determining which guest OS to use.

Installing Citrix XenServer 5.5 and XenCenter
What may seem like minor decisions when installing Citrix XenServer 5.5 software are actually critical for solution providers. Ensuring that your customers have the correct hardware and making the right storage allocation and password management decisions can be the difference for a successful deployment.

Monitoring SQL Server 2008 R2 using SCOM 2007 R2 (1,650)
Having control over customers' infrastructure and applications is important to solution providers that need to keep a close eye on SQL Server 2008 R2 performance. Learn about System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) 2007 R2, a useful tool for monitoring SQL Server 2008 R2 health via reports and log files.

VMware virtual machines in vSphere: Options and hardware
The next logical step for solution providers that have just created VMware virtual machines in vSphere is to add and remove hardware and edit the VM settings. There are a number of vSphere features available, such as hot-add memory and hot-plug CPU, that will allow you to add memory and CPU to the VM without the need to power down.

Mistakes to avoid when providing virtualization services and support
Browse through our expert's list of pitfalls and best practices for virtualization services and support. You will find out why you need to avoid enabling screensavers on VMs and ask yourself if your customers have set policies to handle screensavers when entering an environment. Check out other virtualization support factors to consider in this tip.

Citrix XenServer 5.5 high-availability setup
Citrix XenServer 5.5 high-availability (HA) is crucial to solution providers because it ensures customers' VMs are protected and that the VMs would survive a power failure on their network. Follow along the multi-component process, starting with installing Citrix Essentials software, to set up, activate and configure Citrix XenServer 5.5 HA.

Open source Xen vs. Citrix XenServer
Xen virtualization can come from either XenServer or open source Xen distributions from vendors such as Red Hat, Oracle and Novell. It's you're job as a solution provider to help customers decide which offering is the best fit. Read though the major Xen virtualization considerations in this tip, including price and the availability of management tools.

Citrix XenServer license considerations
A free Citrix Systems XenServer installation likely will not mean free components for your customers. Find out the key Citrix XenServer license considerations that you need to keep in mind during installation. Learn the ins and outs of purchasing licenses for XenCenter, a free management tool for basic management tasks, and Citrix Essentials, which is meant for advanced features.

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