One of the latest 'buzz' words in the IT community, so what is virtualisation? It could be described as combination of technologies, that put simply, allows you to consolidate your IT infrastructure. This can fall into two main sections; software and hardware virtualization.
Hardware virtualization uses software to run multiple operating systems, or virtual machines, on a single piece of hardware. Software, know as the hypervisor, can run on your existing systems or directly on the 'bare' hardware. Allowing resources to be shared across multiple systems and multiple hardware systems. The term cloud computing is used to describe the resources able to be shared by multiple applications and users.
While not reducing the amount of computer hardware in your infrastructure, although this can be combined with hardware virtualization, software virtualization can provide your users with additional services normally confined to their local computers. Including technology such as terminal server (remote desktop), remote applications and thin apps.
Why consider consolidation?
A carefully planned implementation of these technologies can assist with your companies budget, maintenance related costs and even your impact on the environment.
Reduce your IT expenditure
By reducing your hardware, and increasing the utilization of your IT, there is an obvious reduction in purchase costs. Combine this with saving in electrical consumption, cooling and rack space, virtualisation can help with IT budgets.
No only is there less hardware and system to maintain, there can also be a centralised point of access for all systems. This can reduce the time IT staff have to maintain systems. Maintenance of backups and disaster recovery plans can also be reduced, providing your business with the resilience it needs.
Go Green with your IT
By consolidating your hardware you also consolidate the power you need to keep it running. Vendors even provide solutions to power up and down server hardware depending on the your companies IT requirements in real time. Busy surge of users downloading email in the morning? Software dynamically boots servers and shares the load. Quiet lunch time? Shut down machines and save power. Cutting your electricity consumption and your carbon footprint.
Who's getting in on the Act?
Many large businesses have been using these technologies for years, however, they are now available to all SMEs. Major software vendors including; VMWare, Microsoft and Citrix all provide solutions that are tailored to all levels of business.
Interested, what to do next?
Planning is the key, there are a wide variety of options and they should be considered with the needs of your business. Consideration should be made about the hardware, load and support of your solution as well as backup and disaster recovery plans. We are here to help and can provide written solutions and implementation if required. Please feel free to get in contact to start discussing your requirements.