The economy continues to take hits in all areas, from higher gas prices to fewer available jobs. And many companies have had to tighten their belts by decreasing budgets to their IT teams. Unfortunately, data continues to be produced at a steadily-increasing rate. Thankfully, virtualization has served to solve the issue of decreasing budgets and growing data production.
What Is Virtualization?
Virtualization basically means that the data from multiple storage devices is pooled and accessible from a single storage device. This storage device is usually accessed from a central location, which is most commonly a single physical computer. Introduced in the 1960s by IBM, the initial purpose of virtualization was to boost the utilization of large mainframe systems.
How Virtualization Can Be Used
Virtualization technology can be used to make the data from several virtual sources accessible from one physical source, it can also be used to combine a number of physical resources and make them accessible via a single virtual source.
In network virtualization, bandwidth is split into independent channels which can then be assigned to devices or servers. Desktop virtualization involves the remote management of desktop computers by a single centralized server. And application virtualization separates applications from operating systems and hardware and places them in re-locatable containers with the goal of preventing system disruption.
Benefits of Virtualization
It’s a fact that a high number of machines in data centers are only running at up to 15% of their capacity. This means wasted resources and electricity, which both add up to wasted money. Virtualization of these machines means that better use can be made of their resources.
Space is a big benefit of virtualization. Instead of adding separate data servers, a business can reduce their space requirements by hosting a number of systems on one server. Doing this can also save a lot of money, as there is no need to build a data center to house servers.
In addition to the many cost benefits associated with virtualization, you can also reduce the amount of energy you use, meaning that your entire company becomes less dependent on it. This can help you make significant progress with your environmentally-conscious customers.
Where storage virtualization is concerned, disk utilization can be increased. As well, many companies find that disaster recovery is much improved, which ultimately improved the continuity of their business during these events. In addition, more flexibility can be observed in administrative areas where storage virtualization options have been applied.
Finally, the implementation of virtualization can mean that having a full IT staff is no longer necessary, which can also go a long way to saving money in an organization.
Although virtualization can be the solution for many types of issues within an organization, it’s important to note that there is no single solution that will automatically work for all. Virtualization is a complex process that can introduce new challenges to an IT department who is just beginning their journey down this path.
As well, virtualization may not work well for applications which require a high amount of memory or use a lot of processing power. And so some applications may be more beneficial if run from a dedicated location.
And although it can be very easy for several virtual servers to be set up, each one will have to be managed. In a situation where there are a high number of virtual servers, this could mean having to be able to track the usage of resources and where those resources are most being used. However, there are solutions which help users with resource measuring and monitoring.
When deciding whether virtualization is right for you, there are certainly many things to consider. But understanding each virtualization type and considering how it may apply to your business is the first step to enjoying its many benefits.
Guest author Sandra Samesh writes on a variety of topics related to technology. She recommends HostingAndBackup.com as a resource for small business owners looking for advice on how to set up an online presence.