Many people do not fully understand virtualization and how one can leverage the associated benefits that can be derived from this technology. According to VMWare, an industry leader in virtualization technologies for the enterprise and SMB market, “Virtualization software solves the [inefficiency] problem by enabling several operating systems and applications to run on one physical server or ???????host. Each self-contained virtual machine (VM) is isolated from the others, and uses as much of the host????????s computing resources as it requires.” Put simply, virtualization is the condensation of your physical servers and or workstations into a virtual servers or workstations that use a single resource-heavy machine, called a host, for all its resources. These resources include CPU, memory, and storage. By pooling your physical resources to power your virtual machines it becomes easier to manage, to perform disaster recovery, and to upgrade your systems. Further benefits include less power consumption, less maintenance costs, and increased performance. Virtualization gives your IT the ability to do more with less.
This means a lot when you consider the associated hardware costs and operational efficiencies. For a business this directly correlates with higher operational and maintenance costs. Further, when a physical server fails the downtime may completely halt your business processes and could take hours, even days, to get back online. If a virtual server fails, most virtualization software has the ability keep the actual server running, just in a different VM. Now you reduce downtime entirely and if there is a hardware failure it becomes less costly to correct and easier to diagnose as there are significantly less physical hosts than there would be physical servers in a traditional IT environment. Virtualization also makes your IT environment scalable with your business’s growth and causes less overhead from a management and procurement perspective. If you need more CPU, memory, or storage you can add it to the host and make it available to all your VMs right away.
Performance & Security
According to Software Engineer Sajan Sebastian, “Many dedicated servers are only using about 20% of their computing capacity.” A good analogy is our brain. We have all been taught as little children that we only utilize 10% of our brains. Imagine if we pooled together our brain power and only used the amount we needed to think? One brain could, in theory, support 10 peoples thought processes. This is just like physical servers only using a small portion of those system resources. By pooling your resources and dynamically allocating them to your VMs as they require them, the performance of each machine increases dramatically. Further, your systems are less likely to reach the capacity of their resources as they traditionally would on a physical machine. From a security standpoint, it????????s easier to manage a virtual server environment as your IT staff can focus on a more universal security model.
Scalability & Disaster Recovery
Due to the nature of a virtual environment, your IT systems are more scalable than ever before. Adding system resources or taking away system resources is a breeze compared to physical models and takes a few seconds. Additionally, it is way easier to deploy a new server or workstation and reduces deployment time significantly. Since the number of physical hosts is less than the number of physical workstations your network would otherwise have, it becomes easier to diagnose and correct any issues. With virtualization technology you can backup data and even your entire server, deploy a replacement server, and recover your data or entire server to the newly created VM in significantly less time than it would take in a traditional physical-based network.
As you can see the industry trends are clear. While some barriers to virtualization exist, like the cost to implement, the long-term benefits for your company are tremendous. Further, others will see your technological prowess as a competitive edge and will boost your business. Costs go down and stability and recovery options increase so what is stopping you from giving your IT department the tools needed to do more with less?