Virtualization is far from a new technology, but for many businesses, this may be the first they’re hearing of it. Virtualization is the ability to take a physical piece of hardware and essentially make it software. Servers, workstations and even network devices can all be created virtually and logically and can be set up and implemented faster than their physical counter parts. Way over your head? Let’s back up for a minute.
What is Virtualization?
Virtualization gives businesses the ability to quickly and easily grow their IT infrastructure without the need for costly new hardware. It also gives business’ more IT continuity, as a virtual environment is more scalable and resilient to issues that can plague stand-alone physical devices. Let’s look at this scenario and see how virtualization can benefit your organization.
A company just invested a good portion of their small IT budget on a robust data server. The server is powerful and more than capable of running the organization’s current business applications. Suddenly one of the company’s databases grow too large to be hosted on the same server as other applications and roles are hosted. The company is faced with three options: 1) Buy new hardware to build a new server for that database, 2) Pay to have the database hosted by a third party in the cloud or 3) use existing hardware and virtually carve resources from it to create a second server, leveraging what you already own.
By introducing virtualization into your infrastructure, scaling your network to your business needs is as easy as a few clicks of the mouse rather than the lengthy (and costly) process of provisioning new physical hardware.
Here’s another example of how virtualization can benefit your business:
Let’s say your business server is out of warranty and running legacy software that isn’t compatible with newer versions of the operating system. Out of warranty server means if hardware fails, down time is not only guaranteed, it’s that much longer. With virtualization, the company would be able to purchase new hardware with a full warranty, and migrate their old server to a virtual environment within their new physical hardware. Sound confusing? It’s not! This method will allow the software (and server operating system) to remain in use as a piece of software that resides on brand-new, in warranty hardware.
In addition to the scalability virtualization provides, it also offers increased reliability and decreases overall downtime for regular maintenance. Thanks to the architecture of virtualization, performing tasks that would normally require shutting the hardware down or even physically opening the hardware up to add more resources, can now just be done with the click of a mouse.
For businesses that have never experienced a virtual environment, we encourage you to consider your current business model as well as its potential IT infrastructure growth requirements. If your environment forces you to have more than 1 physical server, virtualization may be the best and most cost effective solution for you. As always, Right Click Computer Solutions is here to provide a wide variety of cost effective multi-tiered business solutions for your network. Our solution experts will be able to cater a virtualization model that’s a custom fit based on your organization’s needs. Contact us to find out if and how your company can benefit from virtualization.