The Benefits ― and Magic ― of Virtualization for Your Organization’s Computer Network
We’re living in a world where virtual reality is a new, exciting household term and that’s pretty darn cool. But in the networking world, we’ve been setting up virtual environments for our computers for years.
What Is Virtualization, Anyway?
Virtualization gives you the ability to run multiple virtual computers on one physical system. I know what you must be thinking. “Why on earth would you want to run a computer on another computer?” It seems counter intuitive, right? Not so!
When you are able to use this special program, let’s call it Hyper-V, that allows you to run a virtual computer application on a physical computer, magic happens!
Your computer has some basic parts, including a hard drive, memory (RAM), processor, Ethernet (internet) connection and more. We can use the Hyper-V program to “borrow” the actual physical computer’s fundamental parts. We can tell Hyper-V to give the virtual computer X amount of RAM and X amount of hard drive space. As long as it doesn’t go over what the physical computer actually has to offer, you can use it.
Why Would You Want to Use Virtualization?
It’s simple. If you consolidate your physical servers into one powerful server, you will save money on electric to power the servers, air conditioning to keep them cool, and other infrastructure you would need to make them operate. Plus, you’ll save tons of time. So the question becomes, “Why not use virtualization?”
If your physical computer crashes, then all your other virtual computers will crash with it? That can happen, but don’t worry. There is a solution. With the Hyper-V program, there is a way to take two physical computers and make them talk to each other. So in fact, if one of those physical computers crashed, the other computer could actually take those virtual computers on the crashed machine and start to host them.
How Do You Know If Virtualization Is Right for You?
This concept isn’t right for every organization. You need to consider whether your organization is ready for virtualization.
If your business is small and has just one server, virtualization might not be right for you. Alternatively, if your company has multiple servers, virtualization is something you need to consider.
If you’re thinking about utilizing virtualization, then we can help. We have the ability to take your existing physical servers and convert them to virtual servers. This process is called physical-to-virtual, or P2V.
Once we have the servers converted to virtual machines, we can host them on a physical server. Granted, the physical server needs adequate specs to host those virtual machines. In cases where clients want “high availability” servers, we can take multiple physical servers and make them talk to each other, so that if one stops working, the others will pick up the workload and keep the servers running until the failed server can be repaired.
Isn’t This the Same as Putting Everything in the Cloud?
Not exactly. If the physical server is in your office running off your electric and your internet connection, it’s not cloud-based. Although the option does exist to take your local servers and move them to the cloud, but that’s a topic for another day…
To find out if virtualization or cloud computing is right for your business, contact us here or call 410.685.5512 to chat with our virtualization experts.
About Joshua Beitler
Josh monitors, updates and troubleshoots network and server systems for clients. He works primarily in Windows Server, Microsoft Office and Office 365 environments, but also has experience with automated network monitoring and data backup solutions. Outside of work, Josh is a wine enthusiast. His technology background resulted in Josh creating an app to log the different wines he’s sampled.