Service Management Guide: ITSM for Virtualization

ITSM for VirtualizationWhat’s the difference between deploying a service versus installing a software technology?

A lot!

For example think about what you expect from companies that provide you with water, electricity, and telephone services (now you’re getting close).

What’s ITSM for Virtualization?

As an infrastructure manager, over the years I’ve had virtualization admins and engineers tell me how quickly they can install a new technology such as VMware View…

… and for the most part they were telling the truth.  Heck, even I can follow the instructions to set up VMware View.

But that’s not delivering a quality service, its installing software.

And the difference between service delivery and software installation is huge!

Here’s what I mean…

Using our example of VMware View, delivering a VDI service goes well beyond installing a couple of packages on a server and then deploying a few virtual desktops.

Moreover, it’s about assessing the scope and use cases that may require various tweaks and alterations for each business unit (or department).

It’s about matching the look and feel of the existing physical desktops so users are not confused.

And it’s about testing and validating the application stack to ensure all the applications will still work once they are running on a VDI instance verses physical hardware with dedicated memory, CPU, hard drive and a network adapter.

No! A service is much more than installing cool software.

Consider our VDI example again.

In a proper service delivery project, a network traffic and storage assessment would be performed to determine if switch ports and storage LUNs would be oversubscribed by desktop traffic from heaving hitting applications.

User traffic is not static and can quickly eat up IO and cause potential problems. This needs to be determined before (not after) to ensure service levels are maintained.

Also, security needs to be considered since desktop users are now operating behind the firewalls because virtual desktops are now sharing the same back-end space where servers are.

Hardware drivers and agents need to be removed from standard desktop images and antivirus scans and other services that could thrash storage or network IO need to be tested, remove, or rescheduled.

And maybe new processes for virtual desktop provisioning or support requests need to be created so virtualization admins are not held responsible for 1st and 2nd tier desktop support. (This step could be followed by training for help desk support staff on how to deploy and support VDI.)

Then there are software installation processes that need to be created because untested installs could result in performance issues that impact the entire environment hosting the View Desktops.

And if that’s not enough!

You need to ensure you have a capacity management plan in place for scaling the VDI service quickly once it’s outgrown the initial build out, which is sooner than most businesses plan for.

Do you understand the difference now? Let’s keep going.

ITSM for Virtualization Big Picture

It’s easy to run a setup.exe file and install a software technology, but deploying a service needs to be thought through so the customers and the support staff are properly supported with good and best practices, and reliable service levels.

In this example guide on IT Service Management for virtualization, I used a VDI service but the same is true for building out a vSphere service for server deployments used for App, Web and Database servers to ensure the SLA.

Why?

Because standing up a couple of ESXi 5.1 hosts is easy, and deploying vCenter is easy, too.

But how will you scale it, monitor it, and back it up?

Think beyond the basics…

A vSphere service manager thinks beyond the basics of the installation and looks at the long term service the customers of the vSphere will want but they didn’t asked for in the beginning…

ITSM is the bigger picture that needs to be considered to ensure long term health and performance of virtual servers and virtual desktops.

Conclusion:

Here are 5 important take-aways to consider for service managers:

  1. What are the use cases to build the service for? Don’t just build and try to make it fit the users.
  2. What are the service levels you want to achieve? SLA|OLA (set clear expectations early).
  3. What are (and how will you) monitor service levels? Health and Performance are key metrics.
  4. Will the design scale easily when more capacity is required? Build is unit of capacity rather than sprawl.
  5. Is the support staff trained and educated on supporting and maintaining the service? No cowboys allowed.

Don’t be fooled by sales people who pitch how easy it is to install something they want to sell you!

If you want a quality service, then it needs to be approached as a service and follow best practices for service delivery – not just following a how to install instruction guide.

Leave a Reply

vSphere Data Protection EOA
Finding The Best vSphere Backup Replacement For VDP (3 Alternatives)

Important Notification: vSphere Data Protection (VDP) End of Availability (EOA) That...

vSphere 6
8 Updates That Make vSphere 6 Better – Keith Barker

Editor’s note: Keith Barker has been a CBT Nuggets Trainer since 2012. Some...

VMware Interview Questions
25 VMware Interview Questions And Answers: Tough & Technical (Download PDF)

Free VMware vSphere Interview Guide In this VMinstall Guide, I’ll share...

Project Photon
VMware Project Photon: Technical Review for Linux Admins

My quick and dirty review of Project Photon. I was very happy...

DevOps Plan
Best DevOps Strategy Hack (Winners Start With Why)

What is DevOps? It’s a model. It’s a culture. It’s a...

DevOps Tools Download
DevOps Toolchain: Download 3 Free Tools Used By Pros (Ansible, Git, Jenkins)

Hack Your Resume with DevOps Skills Lately, I’ve been getting a...

DevOps Guide
The Best Microsoft DevOps Skills: 25+ For Windows SysAdmins

What is Microsoft DevOps? This is an interesting question because first off,...

continuous integration tools
The Best Automation Training Video Courses (DevOps Tools)

When I was just starting out as a Jr SysAdmin, I...

Assessing Your Company's Cloud Readiness
13 Cloud Readiness Assessment Tips To Guide Your Migration Success (Updated)

Planning your migration to the cloud? If you’re planning to move...

How Bare Metal Virtualization Made Cloud Computing A Reality
How Bare Metal Virtualization Made Cloud Computing A Reality

An Overview of Bare Metal Virtualization Let’s start by explaining what...

Advantages of Cloud Computing
Advantages of Cloud Computing (Private versus Public)

Advantages of Cloud Computing Whether you’re an enterprise IT department planning...

Free Offical Amazon VPC & EC2 Cloud Guides for Beginners

Free Cloud Guides for Beginners Are you researching Amazon’s AWS Virtual...

DesTechAZ
What’s So Interesting About Woz U?

On 10/12/2017, I had the privilege of attending the AZ Tech...

tensorflow training
TensorFlow Tools for Beginners (7 Easy Takeaways To Get You Started)

Introduction To Deep Learning As a follow-up to my book review...

job rut
How To Get MOVING When You’re Stuck In A Career Rut (Video)

You worked hard to get your degree and after graduation you...

Storage Engineer Skills
Why Storage Engineer Skills Are HOT! (Can You Say Big Data?)

3 BIG Skills New Storage Engineers Are Missing Out On… Behind...

VULTR Reviews
VULTR Review And Comparison: Best VPS Platforms Now Thru 2018
Best Hosting for WordPress
Case Study: Best VPS For Easy WordPress Migration
White Box Storage
White Box Storage that Rocks! Great for SME
cloudways review updated
11 Cloudways Review Pros & Cons From My Deep Dive Testing (VPS Series: Part 2)
Website for Small Business
Best Small Business Website Packages (6 Alternatives That Rank!)
Click here to learn how to Optimize WordPress Speed
WordPress Speed Optimization: Learn To Rank Higher In Google