Traditionally, companies have spent a lot of money in order to maintain their Information Technology infrastructure. In the past, businesses have typically relied on bare-metal servers to host applications that their employees need in order to perform daily tasks. Servers tend to be reliable, but any unexpected change in the operating system could cause a collapse.
Whether they’re located on-premise or at a remote location, company servers are relied upon to provide resources to their employees on-demand. Using a standard server to run your business is still an option but not recommended. If a high number of users simultaneously connect to the company server it could potentially create a shortage, which can ultimately lead to system outages and business downtime. By virtualizing servers, companies now have the ability to overcome many of these issues.
What is a Virtual Machine
Virtualizing the environment means creating virtual servers that simulate the physical machines (also called guests). A Virtual Machine (VM) runs on the same bare metal infrastructure as a standard server but it provides IT departments with the ability to create application-specific operating systems. While virtual servers share the same physical resources, if one VM goes down, it won’t affect any of the other guests.
The Benefits of Using Virtual Machines
From the interface level, most software applications see no difference between a VM and a physical server. Operating systems deployed on the VMs have the same features and capabilities as their physical server counterparts. Companies can segment their applications by hosting a group of VMs solely dedicated to providing department-specific resources and software on a single physical machine.
For companies that use complex software solutions, IT departments can deploy different application configurations and versions, ensuring they don’t compromise existing projects as software updates become available.
Key benefits of virtualizing your business include:
- Support for legacy software and applications with any operating system supported.
- Reduction in the frequency of physical infrastructure updates or acquisitions.
- Increase the operational lifecycles of the physical infrastructure.
- Ability to scale quickly and segment software and applications.
- A decrease in power consumption and reduced maintenance costs.
- Improved efficiency for backup and disaster recovery using a snapshot of the virtual machine.
It’s also important to note that using VMs alleviates demand on IT departments by allowing them to actively clone entire machines directly from a previously created snapshot. As you can see, there are many benefits of using a virtualized environment for the company’s digital infrastructure. Although there is a learning curve involved, modern organizations gain greater flexibility and scalability.
Popular Virtualization Technologies
A hypervisor is the software tool that IT professionals use to manage groups of VMs. The most popular hypervisors available on the market are VMWare’s ESXi and Microsoft’s Hyper-V. While both provide similar features, there are differences between the technologies. There are also differences in the licensing of the products, which makes it important to understand both products and their capabilities before choosing to implement one or the other.
With a virtualized environment, companies can scale easily, reduce their infrastructure footprint, and improve their IT department’s operational efficiencies.
For more information on virtualizing your business IT operations, contact one of IntegriTech’s virtualization experts today.