The Benefits of Virtualization
If your business has technology assisting its operations and you haven’t heard of virtualization yet, you may be living under a rock. The benefits of virtualization are tremendous in todays technology-driven organizations, and when done properly can save you a lot of money and time. Virtualization uses software to simulate the existence of hardware and create a virtual computer system. The primary goal is to ensure that businesses can run multiple apps and operating systems on a single server to leverage economies of scale and efficiency. Remember that cloud computing is not virtualization but rather something you can do with the technology. You can start by virtualizing your servers and move to a private cloud computing model for improved self-service and to make your business more competitive. Not to mention lower your hardware and support costs.
To fully appreciate the benefits of virtualization in your business let’s review some of the different types;
- Server virtualization allows different Operating Systems to run on one physical server as virtual machines (VMs). Each VM has access to the underlying server’s computing resources which creates more efficiency especially after the server cluster is aggregated into a single resource. These virtual machines provide security and fault isolation at the hardware level, boost performance with advanced controls and save the entire state of a virtual machine to files. Server virtualization increases performance enables faster workload deployment and reduces costs.
- Network virtualization allows applications to run on a virtual network exactly as they do on the physical one. It is the complete reproduction of physical network in software to provide logical networking services and devices to connected workloads.
- Desktop virtualization is the modern way to deliver apps to branch offices, mobile workers, and offshore employees. Often Desktop virtualization can replace as many as 100 desktops per one virtual desktop server.
- Storage virtualization provides an isolated, secure, and robust storage solution across multiple networks virtually, and from as little as one storage component. This technology has improved greatly over the years and is key to redundancy and instant failover technologies.
- Application virtualization takes your application off of the desktop and allows you to access them remotely via a cloud interface or a compatible browser. Application virtualization has been key for assisting legacy applications to run independently of server and desktop hardware in a moveable virtual application model. Application virtualization also greatly eases the rollout of application in an environment and assists with upgrading and supporting them.
From the above types of virtualization, it is clear that this technology is completely changing the computing industry with a large number of businesses scrambling to experience the numerous benefits. It provides businesses instant resources, simplifies operations and gives enterprises competitive edge in their industries. Companies that don’t recognize the need for virtualization often fall behind and before long they end up creating an expensive IT upgrade. Read on for more reasons why virtualization is good for businesses;
1. Redundancy and instant failover abilities
System crashes can cause insurmountable losses for enterprises, but thankfully, virtualization allows images on one machine to be instantly re-imaged on another for easy recovery in case of system crash. Without redundancy, many businesses would get into numerous problems over lost data. Virtualization provides instant failover abilities which make things more efficient. Two servers are usually connected so that if one experiences problems the other can continue working as if nothing happened. Such activity prevents unnecessary interruptions that would otherwise lead to losses. Redundancy and failover abilities come in handy during data recovery as it ensures optimal performance and rapid data restoration in cases when data is deleted or damaged. It can even recover when physical disks fail and are unrecoverable.
2. Smooth migration of resources
Virtualization makes it easy to switch from physical to virtual infrastructure as need arises. Different technologies allow for virtual disk storage, but you can quickly turn to physical storage. You also have the option to migrate from fully allocated virtual disk to a thin-provisioned virtual disk. This way, administrators have the power to prevent wastage of resources by provisioning only what’s needed at a certain time without a negative impact on businesses. Virtual technology means that the business gets the resources that they need instantly for a fraction of the price. Businesses that choose virtual storage, for example, don’t have to invest in lots of physical space as they don’t have much infrastructure taking up floor space.
3. Virtual firewalls and security
Security is a major challenge for businesses, but virtualization provides a solution. Business ventures can benefit from virtual firewalls to protect access and data at lower costs than traditional methods. It is also beneficial to have an experienced security professional looking out for your security needs. Virtual security involves the use of advanced controls such as a virtual switch to protect against malicious attacks coming from unverified sources. Applications are isolated to make them untouchable by malware, viruses and even applications that may stop execution to name but a few threats.
Firewalling features are provided at the base of network virtualization platforms to bring about segmentation. It allows automated provisioning and context sharing across virtual platforms which lead to increased visibility and security across applications on virtual or physical workloads. This would have been impossible in the past as it would compromise either security or performance. Improved security through virtualization helps you gain mileage over challenges that would otherwise ruin your reputation among clients. This would be disastrous, as obviously, your businesses ultimately rely on clients to make profits.
4. Improved IT support
Companies must provide excellent customer support if they intend to keep or maintain their customers. This can be quite a challenge for ventures without enough manpower to provide customer support when it is needed. Moving to the virtual space is a great solution that instantly improves IT support to ensure a seamless flow of data for various operations.
5. Reduced costs and a greener environment
The traditional one enterprise app for one server model set the stage for increased costs and underutilized servers in the traditional hardware model. This is the opposite with virtualization as machines are consolidated across fewer physical servers reducing compatibility issues and cutting down costs. There is no wastage with this approach that makes sure virtual machines are allocated just the resources they need. In so doing virtualization reduces data center carbon footprint which goes a long way in preserving the environment. Virtualization significantly saves space for companies who can invest it in more profitable operations. You need less networking gear, fewer servers, fewer racks and ultimately less space for the data center. Further savings can come from shared technology as opposed to personal data centers.
Better security, improved service delivery, better IT support and reduced costs are valid reasons enough for businesses to choose virtualization, but caution is essential. You must be cautious enough to ensure that the virtual space is indeed secure and that it is possible to operate without a hitch to your virtual machine. If you are not so sure about virtualization for your business, don’t dive into it blindly but rather contact us for information and clarification to get you started. Otherwise, you may lack the much needed competitive edge to survive in modern business.