Virtualization is a point-perfect solution for reducing costs, increasing efficiency and maintaining business continuity.
Virtualized service technologies allow businesses of nearly any size to consolidate data and applications onto fewer servers, doing so in less space, consuming less power, and usually for less money long term.
As a technology, virtualization frequently utilizes clusters of optimized servers (either standalone or blade servers) designed to maximize space and minimize power use. A virtual machine manager (VMM), or hypervisor, offers a virtual operating platform that allows multiple operating systems to run on a single host computer.
Virtualization’s made one of its greatest impacts in the field of business continuity and disaster recovery (DR). Disasters affecting IT infrastructures have always posed a risk to operations and company longevity. The effect of unplanned outages can deliver potentially fatal blows, from hourly loss of revenue to complete business failure. Such risks grow with the complexity of operating systems, network enhancement, and added critical applications.
Server virtualization offers a point-perfect solution, reducing costs while also being more efficient than traditional models at preserving system uptime and data integrity. In fact, virtualization practically guarantees that information assets will continue to be accessible at all times. This is referred to as high availability (HA). Once the domain of big businesses with deep pockets, virtualization brings the benefits of HA to small to medium businesses.
“Using virtual servers to act as redundant backup servers in replication-based high availability environments makes the deployment of this technology less burdensome from a financial perspective,” says Robert Gast, IT industry analyst and writer for DR specialists Vision Solutions. “SMBs may not have the financial wherewithal to implement a backup data center, so virtualization allows them to enjoy many of the benefits of HA without the added expense.”
Jason Hoambrecker, worldwide incubation services expert at i365, points to another financial benefit of virtualization. “There are more than just hard cost savings,” Hoambrecker says. “There are also savings in time, or soft costs—time it takes to build physical servers versus deploying templates on a VM, automation with virtualization APIs [application programming interfaces], and process engines to automate DR processes.”
William Van Winkle has been a full-time tech writer and author since 1998. He specializes in a wide range of coverage areas, including unified communications, virtualization, Cloud Computing, storage solutions and more. William lives in Hillsboro, Oregon with his wife and 2.4 kids, and—when not scrambling to meet article deadlines—he enjoys reading, travel, and writing fiction.