Server Virtualisation is more than just Server Consolidation

Server virtualisation is very much the hot topic in computing at the moment, with many companies investing their I.T. budget into this new technology because of the long term savings that have been predicted.

These savings can be found in a number of different areas, the main one being server consolidation, taking the 5 servers your company is currently running, and turning them into one box, running the 5 servers. This can cut the costs of operating the environments through savings on:

– Power usage, because there are fewer boxes
– Cooling, because there is less heat produced
– Racking space, because we now only have 1 box not 5
– Hardware maintenance costs
– Hardware replacement costs

However there are many more advantages to a virtual environment, some more obvious than others

– Fast server deployment – using a standard server image, the deployment of extra servers can be accelerated
– Multiple Operating Systems – You can run a variety of operating systems from a single platform
– Real-time fail over – You can run replicated systems so that if your main system went down, a switch could be made in real time reducing the amount of downtime.
– Easy failback – You can maintain images from your previous environments, making it easier to return to earlier system states
– Intelligent resource allocation – the central servers resources, such as the CPU, hard disks and RAM can be allocated to different OS’s at different times, depending on which server needs them, at that particular time.

Although there are some downsides to this new and exciting technology:

– Central point of failure – With all your severs now consolidated into one box, should the hardware on that box then fail, all of your servers will go down, causing more disruption to your systems than if one server were to fail.
– Extra software – To set up a virtual environment you will need to buy, install and configure a piece of 3rd party software such a VMWare or Microsoft’s Hyper-V technology, which is expensive in terms of both procurement of the software and training of your I.T. staff to be able to deal with the new environment

Properly deployed, a virtual I.T. infrastructure can save your company a lot of money in both maintenance and running cost, as discussed previously.

They can also incorporate our backup solution, which fully supports VMWare and Hyper-V enabling companies to securely and efficiently protect their virtual environment, and their data in the same manor our traditional customers. This ensures that all their stored data and virtual servers can be protected and restored in the event of a disaster.

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