Virtualization technology is nothing new. Popularized in the early 2000s, the technology that virtualization is built upon actually dates back to the 1960s, when IBM aimed to increase the efficiency of computers through time-sharing.
Time-sharing, a process of sharing computing resources, laid the groundwork for modern-day virtualization where resources from a single computer are divided into multiple virtual machines. For example, a single server may be split into three separate servers, each one utilizing a third of the CPU, storage, and other resources. However, modern-day virtualization allows for much more than that. Hypervisors, the software that enables virtualization, help organizations rely on virtualization for data, desktops, servers, operating systems, and network functions.
The Benefits of Virtualization
One of the most commonly known and immediately recognized benefits of virtualization is a reduction in operating costs. Having the capability to share resources means an organization needs to purchase less physical hardware. Having one server capable of hosting multiple servers or one desktop with the capability to run several different desktop instances means less up-front purchasing costs. However, the cost savings aren’t limited to hardware. Less hardware on your network means less power consumption and less cooling costs. These equate into savings. Less hardware also means less maintenance and physical management, again leading to savings.
Yet cost savings are not the only benefit you will see from virtualization. Other benefits include:
Virtualized computing resources are easy to provision and deploy. Because they allow for cloning, a replica is ready for use in minutes as opposed to the hours it typically takes to set up a new resource. This also makes downtime due to disaster recovery much more agile. Instead of having to replace, repair, or clean a damaged or infected computer, you can easily build a new instance and quickly recover its contents from your backup solution.
Increased Productivity for Your IT Team
With virtualization, IT teams are no longer tasked with replacing hardware, scrubbing malware from machines, or even troubleshooting difficult problems. Using virtualization allows your team to simply clone and deploy a new resource without having to struggle with repairs and recovery that could waste valuable time that they could spend instead on more business-critical projects. Though the physical resources that the virtual machines live on do require maintenance, the physical maintenance and management is reduced greatly depending on how many different machines are hosted.
Simplified Data Center Management
Redundancy and disaster recovery planning are two of the biggest concerns when it comes to data management. Both are addressed through a solid virtualization strategy. By cloning the data servers in your infrastructure, you are creating a ready-made backup that you can insert into your environment should your data center suffer from any issues. Keeping up with this process, along with a solid backup and recovery solution, will ensure that you keep the integrity of your data solid and any downtime minimal. Virtualization also makes it easier to scale your data center for more storage or bandwidth. If you see that you need to ramp up resources, you can easily insert a new virtual machine into your data center with minimal effort.
Virtualization technology has the potential to help solve a number of problems for businesses of any size. The tech also presents an effective means of reducing IT-related costs, if used right. In order to create a strategy and implementation plan that allows your organization to reap the benefits of virtualization, work with a managed services provider that understands your business needs and how you can best optimize the benefits of virtualization.