With tech like virtual reality and assistants becoming the norm, it’s clear that virtual technology is upon us. But while you probably know about VR gaming or Apple’s Siri, you might be less familiar with virtual compute or virtualization benefits.
Virtualization is the practice of creating a virtual machine (VM) inside physical computer hardware. Using a type of software called a hypervisor, you can easily create multiple VMs, emulating several computer systems inside a single system. Essentially, this allows you to turn one machine into many—and that’s only one use of the technology.
While it may sound foreign and intimidating, virtualization is the foundation of the cloud computing solutions you might use every day. It also enables you to effectively partner with managed service providers (MSPs) who can more easily access systems remotely. With that said, it offers a plethora of other benefits too. Here are nine advantages of virtualization within your IT architecture:
One of the most significant benefits of virtualization is that it allows you to optimize your existing hardware.
In a traditional setup, you might have a dedicated server for each business use—one for email, one for internal applications, and so on. However, while having individual servers for each purpose may streamline your setup, it also means that no one server is being used to its full potential.
But when you create virtual computers within your existing infrastructure, you can use each piece of hardware to its full capacity.
Servers aren’t the only link in your IT chain that becomes more productive through virtualization – these environments also help your IT team or an MSP work more efficiently.
Because most required maintenance takes place in a virtual environment instead of a physical one, there’s no need to walk to (or, in some cases, travel to) a data center to troubleshoot. Instead, you can complete updates and resets from anywhere via remote access. And when hands-on maintenance is required, there are fewer physical devices to work with overall.
With virtualization, IT teams and MSPs can spend less time putting out digital fires and more time making meaningful changes to your organization’s tech.
Scaling your business up and out is easier and faster with virtualization—whether on-premises or in the cloud.
Instead of buying and installing new hardware as your IT needs grow, you can quickly provision new VMs to run applications. Then, as you require the use of idle resources, you can deploy clones of them. Or, you can test out any new application on a small VM. When you need to scale the app up, all you have to do is expand the CPU allocations.
Another way to look at the scalability VMs deliver is that you can better facilitate MSP partnerships. By outsourcing IT services to an MSP, you’ll reclaim bandwidth and resources you can dedicate toward other scaling efforts and opportunities.
With a non-virtualized setup comes the risk of real-life emergencies. Any of the following disasters or threats can affect a physical data center or server and lead to downtime:
When one of these catastrophes strikes a physical server location, operations can take hours or days to return to normal. Virtualization protects your infrastructure from this danger—because VMs aren’t tangible objects.
If a threat does manage to affect your VM, bouncing back is easy. Recovery takes minutes rather than hours, so you can rest easy knowing that extended downtime is highly unlikely.
VMs can be permanent fixtures but can also act as temporary environments for testing and deployment. Virtualization software allows you to create a new VM in relatively little time, so you can experiment with patches or updates without worrying about affecting your current infrastructure.
In general, this ability to easily create and change VMs allows for more flexibility; one piece of hardware can fulfill multiple, ever-changing roles.
According to a World Economic Forum report, 98% of people hope to have the option to work remotely for the rest of their careers. Virtualization makes this goal possible.
VMs can exist in the cloud, which makes them accessible from any location with a decent connection. In addition, virtualization makes it easy to hire up-and-coming talent from global markets or even pass your IT needs to a managed services provider.
If you need more reasons to appreciate virtualization, the process is also more environmentally friendly than physical computing. These virtual environments are beneficial for the actual environment in several ways:
On top of the ability to create test or sandbox environments at a moment’s notice, virtualization brings various other security improvements to the table.
For instance, it allows you to separate applications from one another easily. So if you suspect a virus or piece of malware is infecting one part of your system, you can quickly isolate it.
Virtual firewalls—an ideal pairing with virtualized environments—offer another layer of security. Like VMs, virtual firewalls can be managed from afar and are simple and cost-effective to implement and update.
Last but not least, virtualization is more cost-effective than the “traditional” model of using physical servers.
Hardware is often one of the most expensive parts of expanding your IT infrastructure. If you have to buy additional processors, hard drives and memory cards each time your business grows, your expenses can quickly add up. However, because virtualization allows you to do more with less, you can make do with fewer costly physical servers and licenses.
And that’s before you factor in the price of electricity. According to ENERGY STAR, decommissioning a single 1U rack server can save you $500 per year in energy costs. You’ll also need less storage space for your physical infrastructure, reducing rent costs.
Virtualization also helps you save money in another area: Maintenance. Paying an onsite IT specialist to monitor, maintain and repair numerous servers can be costly. When you go virtual, you reduce the total number of physical servers to maintain. The result? Lower maintenance costs.
Regarding technology, it’s challenging to find a solution with as many advantages—and as few drawbacks—as virtualization. Server, application and network virtualization are already becoming industry standards, yet they still represent the exciting future of IT.
At Helixstorm, we know all about the best tech and where it’s all headed. That’s because we help organizations of all sizes and industries use today’s resources as efficiently as possible, all while implementing future-proof solutions that anticipate tomorrow’s growth.
So, if you recognize the benefits of virtualization but don’t quite grasp the applications or the execution, don’t stress. We offer a range of managed IT support services to take care of the technical heavy lifting for you. By leveraging virtualization and other technologies, the Helixstorm team provides the IT tools you need to meet your business goals.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about our forward-thinking solutions.