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If your small business is accumulating servers or has escalating IT costs, Virtualization offers relief by fundamentally changing the way IT resources are managed and deployed. Through Virtualization you are able to utilize fewer Servers to their fullest extent, running multiple Applications and Operating Systems that every machine in your office can tap into.
What is Virtualization?
Virtualization refers to the act of creating a virtual (rather than actual) version of something, including virtual Computer Hardware platforms, Storage Devices, and Network resources. Virtualization allows you to run multiple, separate copies of an Operating System on the same hardware, as a “Virtual Machine”. This leads to a lot of advantages to running a single Operating System on a single Server.
Simplified Disaster Recovery
Virtualization’s single-system images makes recovery painless and easy. With the right setup a Virtual Machine can be replicated off-site and be ready to go in an emergency.
Increase utilization to accomplish more with fewer servers. Be more efficient with your expensive Server resources and use less space in your Server Room or Datacenter.
Reduced Energy Needs
Fewer servers means lower electricity and cooling bills and a smaller carbon footprint.
With Virtualization you can quickly bring up new Servers in a matter of minutes and you no longer need to worry about compatibility issues or driver issues. You can even clone existing Servers if it is setup the way that you like it.
Use the right tools to quickly and easily backup your Virtual Machines without needing to worry about installing backup agents. Take Snapshots of your Servers before risky upgrades or changes.
What are the Benefits of Virtualization?
Over the past few years, Virtualization has been the focus of Datacenter and Enterprise technology, where a huge number of businesses are already implementing it using Cloud and On-Premises Virtualization solutions. It has become standard to use Virtualization for your environment, and it doesn’t matter if you are Virtualizing 1 or 1000 machines with it.
Ease of Management
With a Virtual environment it is easy to quickly look at your entire Server inventory and make quick changes to your environment without having to manage multiple Physical Servers. Need to add more Memory to a Virtual Machine? No problem, you don’t even need to shut it down.
By separating all of your critical business Application Servers into separate Virtual Machines, you can protect your network from unexpected downtime and other issues. By using Virtualization within your network, a problem within a single Virtual Machine won’t bring down your entire business.
By containing your critical systems within Virtual Machines you can easily move them from one Virtualization Server to another if there is a problem. With a properly configured Virtualization environment you can even move Virtual Machines with zero downtime.
Cloud and On-Premises Virtualization
Virtualization is very flexible in the way that you are able to deploy it and how you choose to support it. There are many options available for hosting your entire Virtualization environment On-Premises or through a third-party provider, which is most often called a Cloud provider. With these Cloud providers you typically pay a monthly fee based on the usage of your Virtual Environment, or in some cases a flat fee.
With Cloud providers there are several classes of Service Models depending on what type of usage you need for your business:
Software as a Service
Software as a Service (SaaS) are Applications that are hosted in the Cloud which could be Email, CRM, Cloud Storage, etc. A common usage would be hosting email services through a provider like Office 365.
Platform as a Service
Platform as a Service (PaaS) are Applications that includes Web Sites, Web Applications, etc. A common usage would be hosting your website through a provider like WordPress.com.
Infrastructure as a Service
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) are Virtual Machines that are hosted in the Cloud andmade available to the customer, who maintains the Operating System and everything else. A provider such as Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure are very common.
If you are not ready to make your move to a Cloud provider for whatever reasons (regulatory requirements, costs, prior investments in hardware), then using an On-Premises Virtualization solution is best for you.
There are several deployment models available for On-Premises solutions that you may take advantage of:
Do you have a small environment that needs Virtualization, but you only have a few Physical Servers? This is easy supported with products such as VMware ESXi and Microsoft Hyper-V. It is a very good starting point for larger Virtualization environments that your business can grow in to.
A Private Cloud is similar to the public Cloud, in that it enables the key benefits of cloud computing (pooled resources, self-service, elastic, usage-based) however you own it, it runs in your own Datacenter or a third-party provider’s Datacenter if you want a hosted offering.
If your company wants to maintain control of an internally managed Private Cloud while relying on the Public Cloud as needed, then a Hybrid Cloud is a perfect solution. For instance, you can leverage a Hybrid Cloud for Email or for Backup purposes.
Not Sure Where to Start?
Are you not sure where to start with Virtualization? Are you not sure how Virtualization can help your business run more efficiently? There are a lot of options and it can be overwhelming.
Contact us to learn more about what Virtualization options will best suit your business.
Virtualization Providers and Solutions
There are many Virtualization Solutions available, here at Ten Fifteen Solutions we recommend the following Cloud and On-Premises solutions:
Amazon Web Services
Amazon AWS is the industry leader in Cloud Virtualization with a comprehensive offering of hosting options including content delivery and storage, computing resources, networking, and databases. AWS also offers virtual appliances that are able to be used in minutes.
Microsoft Azure is a Cloud Virtualization provider that easily allows for Hybrid setups with your On-Premises Windows Infrastructure. Microsoft Azure is also the provider for many of Microsoft’s Services as well.
VMware is the most popular On-Premises Virtualization in the world. Whether you are using VMware ESXi on a single host or hosting your own Private Cloud, VMware is able to handle it.
Hyper-V is a native Virtualization Solution that is built-in to Windows Server products. Like VMware, Hyper-V can be used on a single host or can be used to host your entire Private Cloud.
Office 365 is Microsoft’s SaaS solution to providing Email services, collaboration and productivity tools to businesses of any size. It provides all of the tools that any modern business requires, and can be used in a Hybrid model as well depending on what you need with your environment.
DigitalOcean is a cloud IaaS provider that has Datacenters all over the world. It specializes in Linux and FreeBSD Virtual Machines only, and are able to rapidly deployed and ready to use in under 1 minute. It is very popular with developers and for web hosting and is well known for very cheap pricing.
Docker uses Containers to package software in a format that can run isolated on a shared Operating System. Unlike regular Virtual Machines, Containers do not bundle a full Operating System, only the libraries and settings required to make the software work are needed. This makes for efficient, lightweight, self-contained systems that will always run the same, regardless of where it’s deployed.
XenServer is an enterprise-class, cloud-proven, Virtualization platform that delivers all of the critical features needed for any Server and Datacenter Virtualization implementation. Amazon AWS uses a version of XenServer to host the biggest Cloud Virtualization Solution in the world.