What is Virtualisation and how can it save you in time and money?

With the cost of electricity, space, management and flexibility, virtualisation is something to be seriously considered. This is not for only big business, but for small to medium enterprises as well.

If you have more than 3 servers, virtualisation will save you in time, money and management whilst providing you flexibility for growth and change.

Server Computers

Server computers are machines that host files and applications on computer networks. They need to be powerful. Some have central processing units (CPUs) with multiple processors that give these servers the ability to run complex tasks with ease. Computer network administrators usually dedicate each server to a specific application or task. Many of these tasks don’t play well with others. Each task often needs its own dedicated machine. One application per server also makes it easier to track down problems as they arise. It’s a simple way to streamline a computer network from a technical standpoint.

Most servers use only a small fraction of their overall processing capabilities. Another problem is that as a computer network gets larger and more complex, the servers begin to take up a lot of physical space. A server room might become crowded with servers consuming a lot of power and generating heat, which then means more cooling, therefore more money to run.

Server Virtualisation

Server virtualisation attempts to address both of these issues in one fell swoop. By using specially designed software, an administrator can convert one physical server into multiple virtual machines. Each virtual server acts like a unique physical device, capable of running its own operating system (OS). If you have more than 3 servers, virtualisation will save you in time, money and management whilst providing you flexibility for growth and change.

It’s only been a few years since virtualisation has become feasible & cost effective for servers. In the world of information technology (IT), server virtualisation is a hot topic as it is reduces running costs and saves on space.

Virtual Hardware

Until recently, the only way to create a virtual server was to design special software to trick a server’s CPU into providing processing power for multiple virtual machines. Today, processor manufacturers like Intel and AMD offer processors with the capability of supporting virtual servers already built in. The hardware doesn’t actually create the virtual servers, the network engineers still need the right software to enable them.

What are the Advantages?

The biggest cost with virtualisation is the initial hardware purchase. However, when you break it down to a per server cost, it is much more cost effective over time. The biggest advantage on Virtualising a server is the ability to change resources within the virtual systems. For example, if server 1 has 32GB and Server 2 has 4GB. Lets say server 1 dosn’t require all that memory and server 2 is struggling, a few simple configuration changes in the software, and you can reallocate the resources between the servers. No screwdriver required and no technician to come onsite, saving you time and money.

The other biggest advantage of virtualisation is portability. Because virtual servers are essentially one large file, they are portable allowing you to move them to other hardware devices easily and quickly. In the event of a hardware failure, (providing data was safe and secure), you can quickly and easily mount them onto a new hardware device and get the business back up and running quite quickly.

Desktop Virtualisation

Virtualisation is also not just for servers. We can also virtualise desktops. No matter what the number of desktops your business is using, Sterling IT have a variety of solutions for businesses that manage a smaller number of machines.

Where would you need to virtualise desktops? For example classrooms, training rooms or even areas where resources are not excessive. (eg non-CAD or 3D drawing).

Contact one of our friendly consultants to discuss how we can use Virtualisation to help save your business money and time while enhancing your existing performance.