2011's top 10 tips on data centre, cloud and server virtualisation

A collection of top 10 expert tips on data centres, cloud computing, server virtualisation and VDI for IT professionals to recap the technology highlights and how-tos of 2011.

As we race towards the end of the year, it’s time to look back upon the year that was. We’ve read a lot of expert tips throughout the year, and while each was interesting and informative, we’ve assembled the best tips from 2011 focusing on IT pros’ chief concerns around data centres, the cloud and server virtualisation.

Just consider what data centres have seen this year. Virtualisation highlights of 2011 included the launch of new hypervisors and virtualisation management tools; vendors’ efforts in the cloud computing space; and industry consolidation through acquisitions.

In addition, the main concerns of data centre managers and virtualisation administrators in 2011 revolved around data centre energy efficiency, server consolidation, hardware refresh, performance monitoring and capacity management, application configuration, cloud computing, application virtualisation, VDI and so on -- all while managing IT on a stringent budget.

So here are the most popular tips from expert contributors on SearchVirtualDataCentre.co.UK throughout 2011. This collection includes “how-to” tips that will guide you in your day-to-day IT functions as well as strategic articles to help you plan your IT infrastructure in the long term.

If you missed these tips the first time, catch up now on your data centre and virtualisation skills to optimise your IT infrastructure in 2012.

Troubleshooting performance monitoring and capacity management issues in a virtual infrastructure
This in-depth tip looks at all the available tool sets and metrics that virtualisation administrators can use for troubleshooting. Expert Daniel Eason offers step-by-step guidance on how to identify the issue, diagnose it and resolve it. Learn about the reporting tools and counters and how to use them.

Is application virtualisation a troublesome task? Learn how to configure apps more easily
A crucial part of your desktop virtualisation strategy is application virtualisation. But virtualising an app can be tricky and time-consuming. Virtualisation expert Mike Laverick takes you through a process of virtualising a common application such as Adobe Reader X.  

Data centre energy saving tips: Using hot and cold aisles
Cooling optimisation is a main priority for data centre managers. In this tip, data centre energy expert Clive Longbottom advises on how you can use hot and cold aisles to optimise data centre energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption.

How to make your virtual infrastructure and a move to the cloud more manageable
In this strategic tip, expert Hamish Macarthur highlights the issues around network and storage performance, “oversubscription” and cloud-based services and advises IT pros on how to tackle these issues to ensure a smoother journey towards a more virtualised future.

How to use free-air cooling strategically in a data centre
While free-air cooling is the most cost-effective means of keeping your data centre cool, there’s more to it than just opening a few windows, says expert Clive Longbottom. Usefree-air cooling or natural cooling more effectively by following Longbottom’s advice.

Installing vCenter and VMware Update Manager for vSphere5 manually? Automate it
If you’ve been manually installing these products since they were version 1.0, rest assured that the future is in automating these mundane tasks. Expert Mike Laverick takes you through a step-by-step process that will bring you up to date.

Water-cooling for data centre energy efficiency
Air cooling is popular, but it has its limitations: It is not very good as a heat transfer medium, says technology expert Clive Longbottom. Water has between 50 and 1,000 times the capacity to remove heat than air and can be far more effective to cool hotspots if it’s engineered correctly. Read how.

Microsoft licensing and virtualisation – all you need to know
In this tip, expert Mike Laverick attempts to bust the myth of Microsoft licencing strategies. Microsoft licensing doesn’t stop with server virtualisation. It extends to virtual desktops as well, he says.

If server refresh is too expensive for you, there are lower-cost alternatives
As cash-strapped organisations look to get the most out of their existing IT infrastructure, there’s more pressure than ever on IT pros. Expert Daniel Eason comes to their rescue and lists the lower-cost alternatives to ensure performance while awaiting budget approvals for a server overhaul. 

VSphere 5 licencing changes: What exactly does it mean to you?
It was controversial from the start. Changes to VMware’s vSphere 5 licensing drew significant criticism from users, and Mike Laverick assesses how exactly it affects users -- both large and medium-sized enterprises.

Archana Venkatraman is the Site Editor for SearchVirtualDataCentre.co.UK. write to her at [email protected]

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