Virtualization is creating a virtual, not a physical, version of your operating system, network resources, storage device, server or other computing resources. Put simply, think about the time you partitioned your hard drive. You are working with two separate drives even when you have only one physical hard drive. Or perhaps console emulation. A video game emulator allows you to mimic the behavior of a particular game console so that you could play a game even when you do not own the real console.
Virtualization, as we know it today, is very big in three enterprise areas:
- storage virtualization,
- server virtualization and
- network virtualization.
Network virtualization is when you split your bandwidth into many different channels so that you can assign each separate channel for use with a server or application. Meanwhile, storage virtualization pools your multiple physical storage and makes it appear as one storage device, enabling you to manage all of these different storage as one. Lastly, server virtualization allows you to share your server resources with users without bogging them down with having to manage or even understand these resources.
Strictly speaking, however, virtualization in the context of most businesses, is concerned with server virtualization. This is where you have one physical server act like several, independent servers or virtual machines. These virtual machines would be able to interact with other applications, users, data and devices. These devices, data, users and applications would think that the virtual machine is a machine that is separate from all other virtual machines and even the single physical machine that you have.
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How does virtualization help improve your business?
For one, it can make your servers work harder. Businesses are afraid to put more than one application in a single server. This is because if one application crashes, it will also bring the other applications down. When you virtualize your server, you can safely run two or more applications on one server, so that you get to maximize the use of your server’s resources without fear of having all of these applications crash at the same time.
You save money because you do not have to buy a lot of servers. What’s more, you also save money on electricity. Let’s say that server virtualization has brought your physical servers down from 10 to 2, you only have to power and cool 2 servers instead of the original 10!
You can also expect to simplify administration and management tasks. Your IT will only be managing or administering 2 servers instead of 10, so think of the time you save on server maintenance alone.
If you need to be rapidly responsive, the amount of time it takes to deploy a virtual machine is considerably much less than the time you need to deploy a physical machine.
From the cost savings to doing away with complexity, it is really apparent that virtualization is good for your business. You can redirect all the money that you’ve saved from virtualizing your computing resources to other things, such as product development or hiring new people. You can have your IT people work on other pressing matters. And you can be sure that everything will be easier and faster as far as your servers, storage, network, etc., go!
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