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Taking the Leap to Virtualization

July 22, 2014 No Comments

Many mid-market companies have invested significant time and resources to secure and back up their servers, client computers, data, and overall network infrastructure in what was the traditional client-server setup. Now, what were considered emerging technologies just a few years ago, cloud computing and virtualization have arrived on the scene, bringing both significant benefits and new challenges.

Cloud computing is “offsite”, essentially a shift to using one of, or a combination of private capacity, pay-per-use, or third-party services over the Internet to do business, such as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).

By using software to divide one physical server into multiple virtual systems, virtualization enables a more efficient utilization of existing computing resources. It is also a key stepping stone for cloud computing, as it makes physical and logical resources available through a virtual service layer across the environment.

Virtualization offers companies the tantalizing promise of significant time and money savings, increased productivity, and enhanced customer service. Current servers are better utilized, old machines can be retired and/or repurposed, floor and rack space is freed up, and—with the need to power and cool fewer systems—energy costs are also reduced.

Virtualization also improves reliability and performance by ensuring high availability and load balancing of applications between various physical hosts. In the event of physical server failure, recovery in the virtual environment is much faster. Virtual servers simply fail over to another machine with no impact to users and a single IT manager can manage far more servers in far less time.

While virtualization brings impressive benefits, it requires careful planning and management to ensure your data is safe from corruption and that access is suitably controlled. As you migrate to the virtualized environment, ask yourself the following questions to ensure the transition is well-managed and allows you to get the most out of your virtual environment:
• Will your existing security and backup tools work in the virtual environment?
• Are you forced to use separate security and backup tools for your virtual and physical environments?
• Are your security and backup solutions complicated to use?
• How does your backup software impact your storage requirements?
• Is your software tightly integrated with your virtual environment?
• Are policies in place to prevent unmanaged growth of the virtual environment?

 

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