Virtualization has opened a world of opportunity for businesses seeking a more flexible business computing system, rather than a disparate and occasionally wasteful collection of computing components.
For this week’s tip, we’ll walk through the process of adopting virtualization and what that will entail for your business.
What Does Virtualization Even Mean?
To understand how virtualization can help a business, it would help to truly understand what this process is and what its purpose is.
A traditional server architecture would install one operating system on each server. Additionally, the hardware itself would have a pretty close linkage to the software on that machine. Alternatively, when virtualization is deployed, the operating system (or storage solution, application, etc.) is instead abstracted away from the server. Then, relies on an emulated copy hosted in a layer of software, called the hypervisor.
What’s So Great About That?
Well, before virtualization came about, the direct relationship between a system’s hardware and software was problematic in certain situations. For instance, configuring software was a challenge. As was trying to move software to a different hardware solution (like one would have to do when restoring data from a backup). Virtualization made it practicable to scale a solution based on current needs. Additionally, with little noticeable effect on the performance of the solution.
What Kinds of Virtualization Are There?
Network – This variety of virtualization simplifies a network by “breaking” it up into smaller, more easily-managed pieces (called “channels”). Then, at that point in time, they allocate these channels and their resources to where they are needed.
Server – As we discussed above, people use this kind of virtualization to make a server more usable. As well as generally simpler for a user to understand. As a whole, this offers an improved resource for the user. Additionally, the ability to increase the server’s capacity in the future.
Desktop– Desktop virtualization is effectively the ability to create a simulated desktop that is hosted on a server. Rather than acquiring the device necessary to host an entirely new desktop environment. This makes this new “workstation” accessible, securely, and in a much more portable manner.
Storage – Storage area networks have storage virtualization to thank for their existence. They commonly incorporate this kind of virtualization. This variety pools the storage capabilities from multiple physical solutions into a unified, managed, “single” virtualized space.
Data– By abstracting things like location, format, and performance from a data set, it becomes possible to assign broader access to the data set.
Application– Remove an application from the operating system through abstraction. Then, the use of the application is no longer dependent on its compatibility with the operating system of the device in question.