Change is a fact of life and the I.T. world is no different. Data migration projects at a large Telco can get complicated real quick with reference to the various development environments, Acceptance and performance testing, Pre-Prod and Prod environments and finding server resources makes it even more challenging to both project managers and I.T. resources alike.
Virtualization is the key factor in keeping budgets manageable and server resources readily available for any unforeseen requirements that come up during the ever changing scope of a large project. Having the ability to replicate environments with various snapshots of code or database extracts is worth its weight in gold.
Large Data migration projects consist of all sorts of versioning conflicts between database servers, application servers and their corresponding web servers. Living in a browser based world most applications rely on robust back-end to do the function which has replaced a single binary application sitting on a user desktop connecting to one back-office server. Virtual Machines or VM's have quickly taken the role of robust server hardware which not only provide scalability but also a sophisticated versioning control system where the I.T. administrator can keep track of entire environments dedicated to a specific function.
I have been working with various virtualization solutions for over 10 years now and it has been my experience that no matter what product is being used for creating virtual environments what is important is that decoupling databases from application servers and application servers from web servers is crucial. This not only prevents data corruption but maintenance and code drops are a breeze. If something goes wrong it is a quick fix; removing the broken VM and restoring an identical one really does speed up recovery.
Gone are the days of having to constantly worry if a backup is good or not; VM's (Virtual Machines) are a quick fix, setting up a scheduled baseline of VM's can mean the difference between spending hours on end installing applications for a new environment or just simply copying an existing VM, tweaking it to the required function and bringing it online; ready for the user community.
Virtualization and Virtual machines are here to stay. OSS and data migration projects depend on technologies like these to stay clean, focused, reliable and scalable to give customers a speedy delivery and I.T. administrators ease of maintenance and less overhead.