The world of business has always been fast-paced; however, it’s picking up speed every year. Everyone from small mom-and-pop shops to worldwide corporations are evolving. With the constant changing of the times, it is imperative that businesses have a reliable, updated technology foundation.
Should you Keep your Head in the Cloud? Virtualization Options
What is virtualization? It is the process of utilizing idle computing and RAM resources by running multiple “virtual machines,” which function like separate, physical servers – only digital and on one physical host server.
At the center of this process is a virtual machine (VM), a single instance of an operating system and applications. Multiple VMs can run on a single host computer, and this is enabled by what is known as a hypervisor, such as VMware’s vSphere or Microsoft’s Hyper-V. The hypervisor is the secret sauce of virtualization allowing multiple VMs to share the same set of physical assets. With shared storage (SAN), VMs can almost magically be migrated from one host to another while running! With this advanced function, individual physical host servers can be shut down for maintenance during business hours without impact on critical applications and services.
A World of Many Clouds
The term “Cloud” simply means IT resources that are not located on your local network. They can be at a provider where only you have access (Private Cloud), at a provider where you are one of many who consume the services (Public Cloud), or a combination of these (Hybrid Cloud). Each of these has its own unique advantages and best fit use cases.
Private clouds are well suited to situations requiring high security, availability, and serviceability. Public clouds offer reduced startup times and capital expenditures and is the most scalable. The Hybrid model mixes Private and Public to get the best of both worlds as needed.
How Can Virtualization Help You?
To start, virtualization can allow you to do more with fewer physical machines. This drastically reduces power, cooling, space, and hardware costs.
Secondly, having advanced disaster recovery options is beyond crucial for any business, big or small. Full disaster recovery and business continuity options become available using virtualization as the cornerstone technology. VMs can be replicated from a primary data center to a secondary one either at the storage or VM level. In the event of a disaster impacting the primary data center critical services can be quickly restored at the secondary data center.
Even if you cannot justify having a secondary data center there are still benefits to virtualization. Historically, one of the key issues of restoring server backups was the requirement of having matching hardware. Virtualization removes this dependency. VM backups can be restored onto disparate hardware allowing rapid and flexible recovery options.
Third, virtualization provides high availability by mitigating the dependency on individual host servers. Both VMware and Hyper-V provide the ability to recover from the unexpected failure of an individual host. If a host fails the cluster can detect the failure and automatically start up the impacted VM on another host, restoring application services in a matter of minutes.
At Forte Systems, our experienced engineers have deployed virtualization solutions for small businesses and medium enterprises.
With 28 years of IT experience under our belt, along with being both a VMware Enterprise Partner and Microsoft Gold Partner, we will be here for you every step of the way. Trust us to help you take advantage of all the Cloud has to offer.