Virtualization is a technology that creates abstract versions of physical resources traditionally bound to physical hardware. Resources can include desktop environments, servers, operating systems, storage, and networks. Virtualized environments are simple to manage and are a cost-effective way for small and medium-sized businesses to expand their IT infrastructure.
Virtualization software brings many benefits to a business owner including reduced operating costs, minimized downtime, and faster provisioning. But before you implement a virtualized solution, you must understand the different types of virtualization to help you choose the one that best fits your business needs.
Network Virtualization provides a mechanism for you to create abstract versions of physical network resources such as switches, routers, and firewalls in separate virtual network layers. With network virtual services, you can create multiple virtual networks on top of a single physical network infrastructure or combine multiple physical networks into a single virtual network for easy management.
Centralized management software allows administrators to monitor the various physical and virtual elements of the network as a single entity, with the flexibility to pool and distribute resources as needed. Additional benefits of network virtualization include hardware independence, capacity management, and increased security.
Server virtualization refers to the use of virtualization software to divide a single physical server into multiple isolated virtual server instances. Each virtual server can run as separate machines with independent operating systems and different configurations.
A virtualized cloud server solution streamlines your server infrastructure without the cost of buying and maintaining physical hardware. Instead of utilizing one physical server for a single task, leaving resources unused, you can run multiple servers, desktops, and applications.
Benefits of server virtualization services include more efficient use of IT resources, reduced operating costs, higher server availability, and faster workload deployment.
Desktop virtualization solutions eliminate hardware management, control infrastructure costs, and accelerate onboarding. IT admins can create and manage complete virtual desktop environments without provisioning additional physical hardware. Virtual desktop environments remain separate from the physical machine on which they reside and comprise separate operating systems, applications, and files.
Because a user’s desktop environment is stored in the cloud, it is accessible for any end-point device in any location. This provides an easy-to-manage solution for companies with Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies because it ensures that the environment an employee uses to access the company’s resources remains secure, even if the employee’s device becomes compromised.
Storage virtualization is a cloud solution that combines multiple physical storage devices so they appear to the end-user as one virtual storage repository. Storage virtualization software aggregates various types of storage from different vendors and networks to create scalable pools of resources separate from the underlying hardware infrastructure.
Storage virtualization makes archiving, backup, and recovery tasks faster and simplifies allocating, moving, and setting up storage resources across the company’s infrastructure.
Virtualization helps minimize the overall cost of running your business. Non-virtualized environments often comprise under-used resources, making them inefficient. A virtualized environment allows you to maximize current hardware instead of spending money acquiring new infrastructure. Having less hardware, specifically servers, also translates to savings on the maintenance, rental fees, and energy costs associated with on-site server rooms.
Most cloud solution providers offer virtualization services on pay-as-you-go subscriptions, which allows you to pay only for what you use. Implementing a virtualized environment also helps you to budget more effectively and allocate financial resources to other areas of the business.
Excessive downtime often means loss of revenue for a business. When a physical server or workstation goes down, it takes hours or even days to troubleshoot and repair. With a virtualized environment, tools are available to create image templates for specific configurations. If a virtual server or desktop environment becomes corrupted, IT support can restore it in a matter of minutes.
A virtualized environment can be an important part of a business’ continuity and disaster recovery plans. The ability to restore a viable backup in response to a ransomware attack or continue business operations in the event of a natural disaster, allows you to minimize downtime to continue serving your customers.
Virtualization can provide faster provisioning when onboarding new employees. No longer do you need to buy a physical machine and spend hours setting it up. IT administrators can deploy a virtual image configured with job-specific applications, memory, storage, and access controls with the click of a button.
If an end-point device fails, employees can easily access their personal desktop environment from another device and get back to work almost immediately. Virtualization also makes it to transfer systems between domains and networks because virtual machines do not require the physical configuration changes necessary for a physical machine.
Virtualized environments promote increased productivity for IT administrative staff and other employees. Though the physical hardware required for virtual environments still requires maintenance, virtualization also removes many time-consuming tasks from your IT support team.
Instead of maintaining individual pieces of hardware, IT staff can install, update and maintain the entire virtual environment using centralized management processes. Virtualization also makes it easier to monitor the entire network for security risks, especially if your business promotes BYOD.
Virtual environments allow for faster rollouts, easier troubleshooting, and reduced support requests making data center management simpler. IT departments can manage and monitor resources from a centralized console as well as scheduled maintenance tasks to run after hours without affecting business productivity.
Imagine the personnel and resources you would need if you had to deploy and maintain hundreds of physical desktop computers. Virtualization allows you to support larger amounts of virtual resources with a much smaller team than you would need if you had to deploy and maintain physical devices.
Let Otava provide the infrastructure for your virtualization needs. Our experts can help you decide how to use our Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions to lower your IT costs and accelerate business growth. Contact us today.