What is Virtualization?
Virtualization is a process where you create a virtual machine spinning off a physical server. This physical server has enough resources to allow a systems administrator to create more than one, but usually many, virtual machines with its own CPU, memory, and disk space. It allows a company to save on purchasing a separate physical server every time a new one is needed.
There are several well-known vendors who make systems capable of creating different virtual machines: VMware (with its vSphere), Microsoft Hypervisor, AWS, and Azure. A virtual machine can operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and Unix.
VMware is the leader in virtualization platforms with its vSphere and ESXi solutions. Next is Microsoft Hypervisor, although AWS is also topping the industry with its own virtualization solution.
Other forms of virtualization include virtualizing an application, storage and network. All of them have the common goal of reducing IT expenses while boosting efficiency and agility for all sizes of businesses.
One of the other benefits of virtualization is saving on rack space. Since the server space requirement is condensed, so is the physical space as well.
Virtualization can increase IT agility, flexibility and scalability while offering significant cost savings. Some key additional benefits of virtualization:
- Reduced capital and operating costs
- Minimized or eliminated downtime
- Faster provisioning of applications and resources
- Greater business continuity and disaster recovery
- Simplified data center management
- Availability of a true software-defined data center
You can learn more about Virtualization 101 by clicking on the highlighted URL.
Those businesses who cannot migrate to a 100% Virtualized Environment can choose to go with a hybrid environment, having some servers on premises and some virtualized (either on premises or in the cloud). The reason may be that some running applications and servers are not fully supported on a virtualized environment, and they need to be kept on premise. Another reason could be the time it takes to migrate to a virtualized platform and the training it takes to support it.
A business would be wise to run a comparison of all items before they decide to run on a virtualized environment; they should undertake thorough research of all the components such as the version of application, the license cost (yearly or a permanent license), the operating systems supported, the redundancy and cost of CPU, and memory and disk space for the new environment.
It is advisable to test the application, systems, and database (if appropriate) on a virtualized production environment before migrating it to see how the performance is affected, and if there are any issues to be fixed. However, there are situations where you must completely and immediately migrate to a new environment, as in the event of a network attack where time doesn’t allow for full testing. At such a time, you must take care to deploy the exact same environment you had previously and ensure that the data is fully supported to be migrated from a server platform to a virtualized platform.
Whatever and whenever you decide it is time to virtualize your environment, feel free to reach out to us so that our Virtualization Solutions team can assist you with any questions or concerns. You can email us at [email protected]
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