Traditionally, network administrators dedicated a physical server to running only one specific application or task. This is because each app often requires exclusive resources to work optimally. Not to mention, it’s easier to detect and address issues as they arise if there’s only one app per server.
However, this also meant that if a company needed several apps to handle their different business processes, then they had to buy the same number of servers to accommodate each app. Many large enterprises can still do that, but other companies that can’t afford to make such huge investments have turned to server virtualization.
What is server virtualization?
Server virtualization is the process of converting a single physical server into several virtual servers or machines. Network administrators use specially designed software to divide a physical server into several independent virtual machines that act like unique physical devices. This means that each virtual server can run its own operating system (OS) and apps.
So instead of purchasing several individual server machines, you can purchase only two or three and then set up 20 or more virtual servers. This technology has been revolutionary for companies, as it allows them to essentially multiply their available computing resources without having to spend thousands of dollars on hardware alone.
What are the benefits of server virtualization?
Beyond making your systems more efficient, server virtualization offers numerous other benefits, including:
1. Reduced hardware costs
The 2021 State of IT report by Spiceworks reveals that businesses spend more than a quarter of their IT budgets on hardware alone. With virtualization, you can cut these costs by limiting the number of physical servers that your business uses to operate, and minimizing expenses related to hardware management, maintenance, and support.
2. Lower power consumption
Physical servers and related equipment generate a lot of heat. Overheating can cause them to work less efficiently or permanently damage their components. That is why, to prevent these machines and devices from getting too hot, server rooms almost always have their own cooling and airflow systems.
Since you don’t need many physical servers with virtualization, you won’t need to spend as much on cooling services. Likewise, you have fewer machines that require power, thereby reducing your energy consumption as well.
3. Lesser floor space requirement
The more physical servers your business owns, the more floor space they take up. There are only so many machines you can store in a room or closet, and you also have to cram in networking equipment, peripherals, and other related devices.
This isn’t much of an issue with virtualized servers. As long as your physical server has enough resources to accommodate several virtual machines, then you can increase the number of available servers without having to worry about expanding floor space.
4. Faster deployment
Setting up a physical server is a lengthy, arduous, and costly process. First, you have to purchase the server and networking equipment and wait for them to arrive. Then, your network administrator has to install the OS and applications before you can use it. If you need to install more hardware resources, it could take hours of legwork and more money.
In contrast, setting up a virtual server takes mere minutes without any additional costs. With a faster deployment, there is very little to no downtime that would affect your customers, partners, and users.
5. Simplified disaster recovery
One of the greatest benefits of having virtualized servers is that it’s easy to move them from one physical machine to another. Most server virtualization software come with features that allow you to securely and quickly create backups of your valuable data and apps. So if something happens to one of your virtual servers, your system is set to respond appropriately, allowing for a safe and timely recovery.
We at Kortek Solutions have been providing world-class IT services, solutions, and support to small- and mid-sized businesses in Las Vegas, Henderson, and Clark County. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you leverage existing and emerging technologies for optimum productivity.