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Business critical applications are often the engines that run the business, allowing businesses to bring in revenue and operate on a daily basis. Without these applications running, the business can be severely impacted and have its capability to bring in revenue significantly reduced or removed completely. Clearly, making sure that these applications remain operational and perform as expected is crucial to keeping businesses successful.

By virtualizing business critical applications, organizations can enhance the availability of their applications by leveraging the availability features found in VMware vSphere. They can also combine the native high-availability features found within their applications along with the features of vSphere to provide better availability than would be possible with physical servers. After the applications are virtualized, they can take advantage of applications like VMware Site Recovery Manager to provide an easier disaster recovery process that is also difficult to duplicate with physical servers.

The scalability of the vSphere platform enables it to virtualize even the most demanding applications, with support for up to 64 virtual CPUs and 1TB of RAM per virtual machine. As resource demands change, vSphere provides the capability to quickly deploy new servers or even add CPU or memory resources to virtual machines on the fly and without any downtime. Using these features can replace the potentially several-week process of procuring new physical servers, racking them in your data center, and installing an operating system and application.

As with all disruptive changes in technology, there will be some who cannot see the benefits and will voice objections to virtualizing business critical applications. They might have concerns about the performance of their applications, support from software vendors, or the security of a multitenant virtual environment. Application owners also might have simply become complacent over the years and might not want to introduce any change. By understanding their objections and providing feedback on the many benefits of virtualizing their applications, you can convince the application teams of the value of virtualizing their applications.

Taking the time to understand the benefits along with the common objections you might face is crucial for success in virtualizing business critical applications. After you are armed with this information, you can build a strong business case for your virtualization initiatives. Having the buy-in of the application owners, as well as the security team, system administrators, and management, will be key to your success.

In the next chapter, we’ll cover strategies you can use on your business critical application virtualization projects. These strategies are designed to be generic enough to use for multiple applications, even those not covered in this book.

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