Capacity Planning in Virtual Environments

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Executive Summary

Virtualization changes the way just about everything is done in the data center, including capacity planning. Traditional physical server environments are fairly straightforward to plan for capacity, as they typically are dedicated to a single application. When your application outgrows its server hardware, you either upgrade it or buy a new server to replace it. This is similar to a house that is dedicated to a single family, once the family gets too large for the house, they can either expand it or get a bigger house. Where traditional servers might be like houses, a virtual environment is more like a city that has a lot of shared infrastructure and works together as a whole unit. As a result, trying to plan capacity in virtual environments becomes much more difficult.

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