Bob Plankers wrote here about the three things he thinks allowed his organisation to virtualise successfully.
I agree with his three items but the second one stuck out in my mind as the thing which can really allow your virtualised infrastructure to flourish. Load balancing at the application layer.
Bob’s second point about load balancing his software at the top (application) layer of the software stack is, in my mind, one of the most empowering virtualisation practices an organisation can achieve, Bobs examples explain why:
- services are no longer tied to individual servers (VMs)
- ease of scalability is greatly increased as you can use more thinly slice VMs
- better distribution of work loads over hosts
There are more reasons as well which I wont repeat.
I think virtualisation can be a trap for organisations that don’t understand what virtualisation really means. Virtualisation is not a solution, its a practice. Its a methodology that allows an organisation to practice highly agile IT practices. The degree of agility is governed by the software stack and the culture of the organisation. The higher up the software stack you can push your load balancing, the more utility you can achieve with your virtualisation practice.