What to Avoid When Planning and Configuring Computer Virtualization

What to Avoid When Planning and Configuring Computer Virtualization Image

Virtualization is an essential technology that enables organizations to improve resource utilization, reduce costs, and provide more flexible IT infrastructure. However, when planning and configuring virtual environments, certain pitfalls should be carefully avoided. This article provides five common mistakes to avoid when setting up virtualization and tools for effective management.

Overcommitting Resources

  • Explanation: Overcommitting resources refers to allocating more virtual CPU, memory, or storage resources than the physical host machine can handle. While it can maximize utilization in low-demand scenarios, it often leads to resource contention and performance degradation when virtual machines (VMs) compete for limited resources.
  • Example: A hypervisor may permit more vCPUs than the available CPU cores, resulting in poor application performance and increased latency when all VMs are active simultaneously.
  • Solution: Carefully monitor the resource usage of all VMs and ensure the allocation remains within the physical limits. Use tools like VMware vRealize Operations or Microsoft System Center to monitor resource consumption.

Ignoring VM Network Security

  • Explanation: Virtualization significantly changes the network topology by adding virtual switches and internal networks. Failing to secure these virtual networks can expose the environment to attacks, especially since many traditional firewalls are unaware of internal virtual traffic.
  • Example: An attacker gaining access to one compromised VM could move laterally across other VMs via virtual networks if appropriate firewall rules or network segmentation are not in place.
  • Solution: Use a software-defined networking (SDN) approach or virtual firewalls like VMware NSX or Azure Network Security Groups to implement granular access controls and segment internal virtual networks.

Poor Storage Management

  • Explanation: Storage is crucial for virtualization performance and scalability. Failing to plan storage correctly, such as by underprovisioning or not using proper RAID levels, can lead to performance bottlenecks, downtime, and data loss.
  • Example: Storing VM disk files on a single physical disk may cause heavy disk I/O contention during backups or migrations.
  • Solution: Implement storage clustering with RAID for redundancy, use storage area networks (SAN) or network-attached storage (NAS) for large-scale deployments, and monitor storage performance with tools like SolarWinds Virtualization Manager.

Skipping Backup and Disaster Recovery Planning

  • Explanation: Virtualization simplifies backup and disaster recovery by providing image-level backups. However, neglecting backup strategies or relying solely on host snapshots can result in incomplete data recovery.
  • Example: A ransomware attack could encrypt all VMs on a host, rendering them useless if no recent, isolated backups are available.
  • Solution: Implement a comprehensive backup strategy with tools like Veeam Backup & Replication or Acronis Cyber Backup to ensure regular, offsite, and application-aware backups. Periodically test the disaster recovery plan for validity.

Lack of Capacity Planning

  • Explanation: As the virtual environment grows, resource usage increases. Without proper capacity planning, organizations can run out of resources or face significant performance degradation.
  • Example: A rapidly growing development team can easily overextend the capacity of existing hypervisor hosts, leading to system crashes and project delays.
  • Solution: Regularly assess current capacity and future needs. VMware Capacity Planner and Azure Advisor can help forecast future resource requirements based on current trends.


Planning and configuring computer virtualization require foresight and strategic management. By avoiding overcommitting resources, ignoring security, poorly managing storage, skipping backups, and neglecting capacity planning, organizations can ensure a resilient and scalable virtual environment. ECCENTRIX provides training in virtualization technologies like VMware and Azure, helping professionals build the skills needed for robust virtualization infrastructure.


What virtualization platform is suitable for small businesses?

For small businesses, cost-effective and easy-to-manage solutions like Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware vSphere Essentials are recommended. These platforms offer comprehensive features at a manageable scale, with built-in support for backups, resource management, and networking.

How often should virtual machine backups be taken?

Virtual machine backups should align with your organization's recovery point objective (RPO). Regular daily or weekly backups should be supplemented with more frequent backups (e.g., every few hours) for critical systems. Incremental backups can help minimize resource use.

What network considerations should be made when designing virtual environments?

Network segmentation, firewall rule design, and traffic isolation are vital. Consider separating management, storage, and guest networks to reduce lateral movement in case of a compromise. Leverage VLANs or SDN to enforce traffic isolation and security.

How do you monitor resource usage in a virtualized environment?

Many hypervisors come with built-in monitoring tools like VMware vRealize Operations or Microsoft System Center. Third-party tools like SolarWinds Virtualization Manager provide additional analytics and visualization to help identify and manage resource usage.