Virtualization software offerings from VMware, Microsoft, Oracle and many other companies are competing for your business. Hardware manufacturers such as Intel and Oracle are adding CPU features to boost the performance and security of virtualized servers. Oracle is including virtual machine features in the latest versions of their operating system. Virtualization, rather than servers running on “bare metal,” is becoming standard.
It’s How Servers Are Done
Information Week reports that, after 18 years as part of the IT market, virtualization is “mature,” with an average of 75% virtualization in company data centers, sometimes as high as 90%. VMware, a leading virtualization vendor, says that benefits include:
- Up to 50% savings, with up to 16 virtual machines running on one physical server
- Higher quality of service (QoS) which translates to better web server performance, user experience, and resource usage
- Increased flexibility with the ability to adjust resource usage, migrate virtual servers to new hardware, and more
Any Way You Slice It
By using virtual machine software, your physical server hardware becomes the space in which your virtual servers operate. You can manage that space without all the costs and time involved in allocating and using single hardware servers with fixed resources such as memory, disk, and CPU speed.
For example, you can allocate resources for both web development and test running alongside a fully configured web server, all on the same hardware but using separate “machines.” As the load on the web server increases, you can simply migrate the dev servers to other available virtualized resources.
Hard Benefits of Soft Servers
In addition to migrating servers to balance loads and use hardware resources more effectively, virtualization offers:
1. Hardware-independent infrastructure management
Hardware becomes the raw material from which server farms are custom built. Automated and manual management software watches virtual servers, resource usage, hardware status and more and uses available resources to keep your systems running and performing at their best.
2. Instant IT Response
Hardware allocation, software installation, and many more IT functions become “press of a button” activities rather complicated hands-on activities. When a department needs a server, you can finish the job while you’re on the phone with them.
3. Cost Savings
Like a cross-trained team, you can put your resources to work in whatever way you need them to function. You can use your resources more cost effectively and handle capital acquisitions by capacity needs, rather than by project or another specific basis. You don’t waste excess capacity on your systems, overbuying for future needs.
4. Isolation and Security Benefits
You’ve heard the stories about the risks to data on shared servers, where web server “hacks” gain access to databases and other resources and create nightmares for the company far beyond what they imagined. Virtualization security is also mature technology, allowing you to run separate servers for the isolation and security benefits, without investing in new hardware each time.
5. Disaster Recovery
A huge benefit of virtualization is the ability to migrate servers to available hardware, even in other facilities, when hardware servers or even whole buildings are not available due to fire, flood, or other disaster scenarios. Cloud resources can be used to augment or fill in for local operations, while still maintaining local control under normal circumstances.
The experts at Source Tech can help your team move towards the cost savings, performance, and reliability benefits of virtualization with your current hardware and your future investments. In addition to virtualized servers, you can consider VDI, the ability to use virtualized servers to provide your desktop computing as well. Give them a call and find out more.