During the recent years, the word “virtualization” has become a household name in the technology niche. More often than not, virtualization is associated with “cost efficiency” and “cloud computing.” simply because it does exactly that.
Virtualization could come in different forms – network virtualization, storage virtualization, and server virtualization. While the first two of its kind multiplies bandwidth and storage respectively, the third one masks multiple server resources that allow its users to be spared from managing its complexity and paves way for them to simply use it and appreciate the concept of getting the resources “multiplied” through virtualization.
Gone are the days when virtualization is only for the Fortune 500 or large enterprises, and while virtualization proves to be a cost-effective solution whether to SMBs or big companies, the question “Is virtualization right for my business?” still remains unanswered.
Think about this. If your server goes down today, how long is an acceptable amount of time to get it back up? If your Virtual server was on a network drive and could easily be mounted on a computer or another hardware server for use quickly, how valuable would that be for your company in terms of minimization of downtime?
On the other hand, if you have more than the average computing requirements with just a handful of servers, then virtualization might just be the solution to your problem. Server virtualization paves way for several, stand-alone operating systems to virtually run on a single server. Instead of having 10 physical servers which are only being utilized at 20 percent, with virtualization, business are able to use only 1 or 2 servers, and are being utilized close to its maximum capacity.
Small and medium-sized businesses have their own basis for going for virtualization or not. It all boils down to their requirements and investment decisions.
Here are a few factors to consider whether to go virtualized or not:
1. The number of existing physical servers being used. This could do you good either way. If you only have one or two servers but with an actual requirement of 10, you might just be able to make virtualization work for you by utilizing both servers to its fullest capacity, thereby saving you from buying additional servers. On the other hand, if you have more servers and are not using each to its fullest capacity, it might just be the time to retain only a couple of servers and sell the others. Turn off and recycle or sell.
2. Software applications. Check if the applications that you use are compatible with the virtualization software.
3. Age of existing physical servers. If your existing servers are 4 years old or older, it may not work also with the hypervisor (virtualization software). Check with IT experts on what hypervisor would work best with your existing hardware.
4. Is Time to restore important? If so virtualization when setup correctly can allow for a full restoration of a server in a fraction of the time of previous setups. This is done by taking copies of the virtual server image, then simply mounting up an image from the previous day.
Jaycee Smith has been researching and writing about network support and computer disaster recover for over 2 years now. You will see more information on http://www.logicalchoiceit.com.au