Data centre owners are under pressure to standardise on a single virtualisation technology – but, there are some advantages to having a mixed environment.
In the modern data centre, it’s applications that should drive decision making. The only purpose of all that infrastructure, after all, is to deliver applications. So if one hypervisor is better suited to a particular application than another, or if a particular vendor only supports their application on their own hypervisor, as a CIO you’re probably going to end up with a mixed environment whether you want it or not.
The major question to ask is: What’s the best tool for this specific job, at the best price? CIOs should not shy away from running heterogenous environments just to avoid complexity. It’s true that a heterogenous environment can be more complex to manage, but there are tools designed exactly to solve that management problem.
In fact, there can be advantages to mixing it up. With a mix of hypervisors you can get all the advantages of flexibility, as well a tight link between the application and the hypervisor. There are also performance benefits: Any tool that can do everything, won’t do anything particularly well. So matching the hypervisor to the task will definitely improve performance. In a business critical environment, you need the highest level of functionality you can get.
At the same time, heterogenous environments can deliver cost savings: Once you stop trying for uniformity, you get more flexibility to custom fit your environment to your needs. For example, there’s no need to pay licence fees for a premium product when the standard version would do for your Tier 3 applications.
Provided you have the right tools for the job, the management problem can be solved. You can enjoy all the benefits of virtualisation along with high availability, protection against data loss and low-risk deployment.
Warren Olivier, Veeam Software’s regional manager for Southern Africa