In the last ten years, server virtualization has really taken off as more and more businesses made the switch to this new technology. At first, only large businesses with huge IT budgets were utilizing virtualization. However, as the technology becomes more widespread, virtualization has become more attainable for small and mid-size businesses. Virtualization can make many facets of your business’ IT operation easier and less costly. Read on for four great reasons to move your computer network into the virtual world.
- Save Space, Save Energy, Save Money.
The point of server virtualization is to move from the tried and true “one application/one server” model to a more efficient use of your servers’ processing capabilities. Having the ability to run multiple applications in their own virtual environments on the same server allows you to consolidate your equipment. This will save your business money in multiple ways. Fewer physical servers take up less space and allow the footprint of your data center to be much smaller. Hardware costs will also be lower, since you will be using fewer machines to run the same number of applications. You will also see a savings in your utility bill, since fewer physical servers will utilize less power and need less cooling equipment.
- Improve Security and Disaster Recovery
With virtualization, it’s never been easier or more cost efficient to plan for an emergency. Since fewer machines are being used, it is possible for even small businesses to keep extra hardware on hand in a secondary location, and it takes less effort to back up a virtual infrastructure than one which is spread out among many different physical servers. In addition, the need to keep identical spare hardware on hand is eliminated, as explained below.
Programmers can utilize virtual servers to test new software or applications without interrupting regular operations. And if something unexpected occurs, the software is isolated in its own virtual system, providing increased security to the network during installations or trials.
- Increase Your Options for New Hardware Purchases
In a virtual environment, the specifics of the underlying hardware are less significant. This translates into more freedom to shop around and find a physical server that fits the needs of your business and is at a price point that works for you. Being less tied to one server vendor or model also gives increased bargaining power when it’s time to shop for new equipment.
- Handle Legacy Systems More Easily
Outdated hardware or applications are a fact of life in many data centers, but that doesn’t make them easier to work with. A virtual version of the old hardware can be created and kept on a newer server, allowing the application to run as usual but reducing the risk of equipment failure. This can also ease the transition if your business updates its server hardware or the vendor discontinues the hardware or application.