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Editor’s Note: Use what you’ve got

You can optimize your existing resources with an effective virtualization strategy.

Lafe Low

For years, we’ve all heard the mantra, “Do more with less.” No one has the budget for a massive rip-and-replace type of upgrade anymore. You’ve got to make the most of what you already have available. Nowhere does the rubber more closely meet the road on doing more with less than optimizing and maximizing your existing resources.

The need for upgrades is inevitable, but the manner in which we get there is changing. When making a move to virtualization—and, more specifically, to Microsoft Hyper-V 3.0—you can do so with commodity or existing hardware. You can save your organization the expense of upgrading to high-end server hardware. Thanks to some improvements made to Hyper-V 3.0, you can build an effective virtualization infrastructure using hardware you already have in place. You don’t need a massive infrastructure, either. Hyper-V 3.0 is now flexible enough that even small companies can use it effectively.

The primary improvement is that Hyper-V 3.0 clusters don’t require you to use shared storage. Also, you can now use mixed hardware within Hyper-V 3.0 clusters. These enhancements make using Hyper-V 3.0 a bit more flexible in modern, mixed environments. Check out Brien Posey’s piece, “ Run Hyper-V on commodity hardware,” for more on Hyper-V 3.0 enhancements and using the hypervisor in a mixed environment.

Virtualization technology definitely helps you get the most bang for your buck, and get the most from your existing hardware by optimizing its efficiency. Virtualizing your infrastructure and making the best use of what you have isn’t just a good idea for saving money and maximizing resources. This approach improves flexibility and the efficiency of deploying upgrades and patches, and can increase your security posture.

Using a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), as Jorge Orchilles points out in his article, “ The benefits of VDI,” will not only save you time and money, but also provide faster and more flexible defense against system failures, speed up deploying patches and updates, and make it easier to customize desktops. Combining virtualization with what you already have can breathe new life into existing hardware.

Time to optimize

It’s our goal to help you maximize your resources and get the most out of your IT investments. Let us know what you need to know, and we’ll deliver the coverage to help you streamline your IT operations. Sign up for our LinkedIn group, send us an e-mail at tnmag@microsoft.com or e-mail me directly.

Lafe Low
Lafe Low is the editor in chief of TechNet Magazine. A veteran technology journalist, he’s also the former executive editor of 1105 Media’s Redmond magazine.