The idea for this article was the need we
have for a good overview of the Pro's and
Con's of having Virtual agents over Physical agent devices. So far I did not find such an page elsewhere.
I can come up with several, and obvious, benefits and
penalties, but I wanted to have it as true and complete as possible.
This so it can be used with business case discussions. Hence this article is always open for improvements.
Virtual Vs. Physical: Enterprise Synthetic Agents
obvious benefit of virtual systems is perhaps the cost aspect, you do
not need to buy and maintain hardware for every agent, and replace it
after so many years. The speed and virtual limitless amount of new
deployments, worldwide, are some of the other. Increasing system
resources is much easier as well.
The restrictions however lay in
the dependency of a virtualization server platform on site, which limits
the flexibility in choosing the workplace to monitor from, and perhaps
the dependency of other teams to maintain your agent's availability.
Plus there is the question of how representative are the measurements
from a virtual DC system to that of the actual End User Experience,
measured by a standard workplace system in office LAN environment. Which
may draw different measurements, than a virtual machine (VM) in a
steady data-center environment.
Here are from the perspective of Virtual Agents over Physical agents, the following Pro's an Con's I could think of with some help from the community:
Maintenance and Infrastructure
There may also be differences in capacity, the amount of transactions
that can be run in a certain timeframe, before the system or the network
connection becomes saturated. But in both cases this can be addressed
by expansion, where a VM in general of course is easier to be expanded, but until certain limitations.
There are benefits to follow a heterogeneous approach, and inter mix
physical with virtual agents, in both datacenters as user lan area's.
Measuring on several locations and areas, give both insight in user
experience, as pure application performance.
I'm very interested in anybody's additions, improvements and adjustments!
I would like to give special thanks to @Antoon Rodoe and @Yuriy Look for their valuated review and input while coming to this Article.