It’s all the rage in the technology world.
The ability to virtualize servers has never been easier. Many businesses take advantage of virtualization today, and with good reason(s).
There are multiple ways to virtualize servers and workstations including Microsoft Hyper-V, VMWare, and Citrix.
But why would a business choose to go the virtualization route? Why not just have physical machines for every purpose?
Let’s start with one of the most common questions business owners ask us.
What is Virtualization?
Virtualization in the technology world is the utilization of computer/server hardware to create multiple operating systems (or containers) that run simultaneously on a single system.
You may have done this on your own using Virtualbox, VMWare or similar software.
On one of my laptops, I have Virtualbox running with numerous virtualized operating systems mostly for testing purposes. I have different versions of Windows Servers, Linux Servers and other operating systems.
I can do this from one physical machine.
This can be accomplished on servers very easily (and is used by businesses often).
6 Benefits of Server Virtualization
- Reduced Expenditure – utilizing virtualization means you don’t have to procure a bunch of hardware. Procurement of hardware is a challenging task and can take a long time to accomplish if done correctly. It’s easier to purchase one high-end server capable of running multiple virtualized servers than it is to plan and purchase multiple pieces of hardware. One high-end server will be expensive but much less than a server for each required purpose. This also means less time needed in the procurement of resources.
- Faster Provisioning of Resources – You no longer need to wait for your finance team to approve the purchase of server hardware, wait for it to be delivered, wait for it to be configured, etc…With virtualization, all you need is the software and license to proceed with provisioning of a new server. This can often be accomplished in a matter of minutes. Faster provisioning means less wasted time and more productivity! This is also one of the key benefits of using IaaS such as Azure or AWS.
- Easier Testing for Development – One of the biggest problems that faced development teams in the past was the procurement and provisioning of software. Not anymore. With virtualization, you can spin up the resources needed for development, use them while they’re needed and delete them when you’re done. Virtualization also allows you to create snapshots. This means easier restoration if something goes wrong during development. Not so easy to accomplish with a physical server.
- Improved Efficiency – the ability to provision virtual servers within minutes dramatically improves efficiency over previous methods of resource procurement. As mentioned earlier, utilizing virtualization means far less downtime as well as vastly improved procurement time. Many businesses pivot and grow rapidly in today’s economy. The ability to take advantage of virtualization affords quick redirection and/or testing for business operators.No more months of waiting for the procurement process.
- Improved Availability – not too long ago if a server crashed it potentially meant hours or days without that server.I don’t need to tell you the potential revenue loss that a down server could have on your business. If you must wait for days that could be the end of your business. Because virtualization makes it easier to create and store readily available snapshots a down server can be stood up very quickly, in minutes.You know that sinking feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when your computer won’t turn on? With snapshots you don’t have to worry about that feeling and your business can continue functioning as it always does!
- Improved Security – with virtualization you can isolate critical and sensitive servers beyond the physical server.If one virtual server is compromised the hacker’s ability to access other virtual servers is limited to the method of access of the first serverIn other words, unless the hacker used a compromised user account to gain access to the server that has access to other servers it is unlikely they will be able to access the other servers. Virtual network segmentations can also be created using virtualization further segregating servers.
Is Virtualization Right For Your Business?
There are many more benefits to virtualization of your IT infrastructure. We feel that these benefits are some of the more important reasons to consider virtualization of your servers (and in some cases workstations).
And you don’t need additional space with virtual servers!
We will get into virtualized workstations on a future blog.