Why Your Business Should Consider Server Virtualization
There are many benefits for any business prepared to make the leap and embrace server virtualization. These benefits come in the form of both IT improvements and cost savings. Let us look at a few of the ways your business can benefit from server virtualization technology.
Reduce the size of your data centre
Once virtualization is complete, you will be able to employ far fewer physical servers and therefore reduce the overall amount of racks and networking equipment required to maintain them. Less racks means less floor space needed. So you will either be able free up space in your own data center, or this could even translate into a substantial cost saving if you are presently renting server space in a co-location facility. An additional benefit to this is that you will require less IT staff (depending on the number of servers your company uses), as well as reduced electrical costs, again the amount of savings there would depend on the size of your current server setup.
Taking advantage of this technology and learning about server virtualization enables your business to make a much faster response to requests for server provisioning. When using real hardware there is obviously, a delay between the request being issued and the server being ready for use. This is because the physical equipment must be purchased and then installed before it can be configured for your requirements. Using server virtualization removes much of this delay. There is no physical equipment to set up and your new server is ready to use in just a few moments.
Great flexibility in the choice of software
One of the problems with using physical IT equipment is the incompatibilities that can arise between older software applications you need and modern operating systems. Quite often, there may be applications you need to run that are now obsolete and incompatible with the operating system you use for the rest of the company. Traditionally you had only two options when this situation arises. Both purchase new software and train someone to use it, or separate off the application to a separate machine by itself and leave it isolated and taking up valuable space.
When you go virtual the solution to this problem is simple, a virtual server can recreate the older operating environment without the need to keep the old physical hardware. An added bonus here is that the ability to run different operating systems allows you much greater flexibility in your choice of new software packages. You are no longer restricted to just the software that will run on your hardware.
Less down time due to server failure
This may be the most obvious benefit of virtualization. With traditional servers, a hardware failure means physically locating the problem and then either fixing it or replacing the equipment. With virtual servers, it is easy to simply transfer a virtual machine between servers. This saves your business both time and money, and that by itself should be enough to convince you of the benefits of server virtualization.
Arthur Gibbs is a part of the Cloud Computing & Virtualization Interest Group and regularly contributes on subjects such as cloud security and server virtualization implementation and best practices. Arthur is also a supporter of various other virtualization groups and works to promote the proper use of virtualization technology.