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 today’s technology-driven organizations, and when done properly, it 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 a 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 applications 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 many businesses scrambling to experience the numerous benefits. It provides businesses with instant resources, simplifies operations, and gives enterprises a competitive edge in their industries. Companies that don’t recognize the need for virtualization often fall behind, and before long, they create an expensive IT upgrade.
More reasons why virtualization is good for business
1. Redundancy and instant failover abilities
System crashes can cause insurmountable losses for enterprises. Thankfully, virtualization allows images on one machine to be instantly re-imaged on another for easy recovery in case of a system crash. Without redundancy, many businesses would experience numerous problems with 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 the 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 a fully allocated virtual disk to a thin-provisioned virtual disk. This way, administrators can prevent the wastage of resources by providing only what’s needed at a particular time without negatively impacting operations. Virtual technology means that the business instantly gets the help they need for a fraction of the price. For example, businesses that choose virtual storage 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. Having an experienced security professional looking out for your security needs is also beneficial. Virtual security involves using advanced controls such as a virtual switch to protect against malicious attacks from unverified sources. Applications are isolated to make them untouchable from malware, viruses, and even applications that may stop the 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 leads 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 your businesses rely on clients to make profits.
4. Improved IT support
Companies must provide excellent customer support 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 data flow 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 standard hardware model. This is the opposite with virtualization, as machines are consolidated across fewer physical servers reducing compatibility issues and cutting costs. There is no wastage with this approach, ensuring virtual machines are allocated just the necessary resources. In so doing, virtualization reduces the data center’s carbon footprint, which goes a long way in preserving the environment. Virtualization significantly saves space for companies investing in more profitable operations. You need less networking gear, fewer servers, fewer racks, and ultimately less room 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 businesses choose virtualization, but caution is essential. You must be cautious enough to ensure that the virtual space is secure and can operate without a hitch to your virtual machine. Otherwise, you may lack the much-needed competitive edge to survive in modern business.
If you are unsure about virtualization for your business, don’t dive into it blindly. Instead, contact us for information and clarification to get you started.