The computing industry has lots of trends, numerous buzzwords, and a number of hot topics. Sometimes these are in conflict with each other, or at least start out that way... But, in the end, there are often good ways to harmonize all these various things.
Let's wander into virtual machine territory again today. If you have gone to the trouble to create a bunch of virtual machines, the chances are you hope to do a little server consolidation - because when that's properly done it can save you some money.
This sounds good, and indeed has lots of good things going for it. It's buzzword compliant, it's green, it saves you green (money). What's not to like?
To see what you might not like if this is all you do, let's take an example to make it obvious...
If you put all your virtual machines on one physical server, then if that server fails, you lose all your virtual machines. If you put ten virtual machines on one server, then the impact of that server crashing is roughly ten times as great as if a single server crashed. If you work at it, you might be able to consolidate the ten most critical virtual machines onto a single server - and bring your entire data center to a halt with just one crash - bringing a suddenly much more personal meaning to the term "shock and awe"
This is not typically what people are looking for in their data center - and could easily be one of those career-limiting mistakes that you'd like to avoid - unless you already have your next job lined up.
This falls under the "putting all your eggs into one basket" way of doing business. This part of a famous quote - but not the whole quote. Mark Twain said "Put all your eggs in the one basket and --- WATCH THAT BASKET". So, to follow Mark Twain's advice, we need to not just put our eggs into one basket, we also need to watch that basket.
As most of you already know, watching servers and services is most commonly done by high-availability software - something like Linux-HA. A properly configured HA system will watch the basket for you, and keep the worst from happening to your basket, your servers or your career.
As you can see, doing virtualization for reasons of consolidation doesn't make much sense unless you also add management software (HA software or otherwise) to watch your basket of virtual machines for you.
In the end, it's easy to see that all these things are connected - virtualization, server consolidation, power savings (green computing), availability management, and you want to manage them all.