I have worked for multiple resellers throughout the years and one of the things that has been constant throughout has been that customers like to bring in an subject matter expert to do an initial deployment, but then after the initial deployment they let the environment remain status quo. Budgets tend to shrink with each passing year but the one area that should not get overlooked in maintenance of your infrastructure. As companies consolidate their servers and desktops onto a small subset of servers, the old system admin rule of “Always check from layer one up” carries even more weight, the physical layer quickly gives way to the hypervisor.
The challenge comes into play when you need to determine if you are truly following the best practices that have been put out by VMware. The do more with less mentality often means that IT staff are wearing multiple hats. This is the time to bring back in the VMware Solutions Provider or consultant and ask for one of the more underutilized tools in the consultants belt, the VMware HealthAnalyzer.
HealthAnalyzer is an automated process that collects inventory, configuration, and utilization data from the vSphere environment through the vSphere SDK. Once the data is collected the tool allows the solutions provider to produce a report grading the environment through a stop light mentality and display the findings and data in an easy to view format, including ways to re-mediate any pieces that are missing when compared to VMware Best Practices. The amount of time that the report takes is completely dependent on the size of your environment but in most SMB environments the data collection can be done in a single day without installing anything on the corporate environment. Once the data is collected, the consultant can compile and analyze the data to return the report card both in a written report as well as a summary presentation.