Virtualization is a broad term that involves creating a virtual copy of something, like a server, operating system, or storage device. For example, server virtualization involves splitting the virtual environment of one physical server into several separate pieces, called “Virtual Machines.” Each of these virtual machines can then be treated like separate servers.
Why virtualize? This process can be used to achieve a wide variety of different goals, but some of the biggest advantages of this technology include:
We’ve written about the benefits of IT consolidation in the past, but the long and short of it is this: virtualization makes it possible to use one piece of hardware to do the job of many. This, in turn, can help you to save money, space and energy all in one go. Keeping everything consolidated also cuts back on the amount of maintenance and management you need to do, by giving you one place to manage everything.
#2. Better disaster recovery
We often recommend virtualization as part of a thorough business continuity strategy. This process involves creating a virtual replica of one of your servers and then hosting it on a virtual machine. While conventional backups can take days or even weeks to recover your data, this method can be used to recover from a severe system crash within minutes.
#3. Easy data migration
Virtual migration (sometimes called “teleportation” — cool, right?) allows you to move data from old hardware to new hardware with minimal downtime. For example, if you need to perform physical maintenance on one piece of hardware, virtualization makes it easy to move your data to another piece of equipment and keep your business operations going while maintenance is in progress.
#4. Increased security
As with any new technology, using virtualization can introduce new risks into your IT environment. Often overlooked, however, is the fact that virtualization can also provide significant security benefits. By consolidating your data center, for example, you can more easily control access to your business data and manage all of your security needs in one place. Virtualization can also be used to test out new network components, like software, in a safe and virtualized environment.
#5. Improved scalability
Virtual IT environments aren’t restricted by the limitations of the physical world, making them more agile and flexible when you need them to be. For example, if you need to provision a new server, you can do so almost instantly, without the hassle of acquiring and installing any new equipment. This makes virtualization a highly cost-effective choice for any business on the grow.
Want to learn more about virtualization? Check out our website for more information!