Virtualization is the moving of physical computer systems to a virtual environment, which is usually located off-site, and connected to your location via the Internet. There are many benefits to virtualization, including lower costs and extended lifespan of your technology investment, which has made it a popular option with small to medium sized businesses. If you have looked into virtualization, you may know that there are many options available, and navigating through the possibilities can be a little vexing. Here we discuss four strong choices and why you might want to consider going virtual.
Operating system virtualization
Operating system (OS) virtualization is the movement of a desktop’s main operating system into a virtual environment. The computer you use remains on your desk but the operating system is hosted on a server elsewhere. Usually, there is one version on the server and copies of that individual OS are presented to each user. Users can then modify the OS as they wish, without other users being affected.
Server virtualization is the moving of existing physical servers into a virtual environment, which is then hosted on a physical server. Many modern servers are able to host more than one virtual server simultaneously, which allows you to reduce the number of physical servers you have in your company, thus reducing your IT and administrative expenses. Some servers can also be virtualized and stored offsite by other hosting companies.
Storage virtualization is the combining of multiple physical hard drives into a single, virtualized storage environment. To many users, this is simply called cloud storage, which can be private (hosted by your company), public (hosted outside of your company by a service like DropBox), or mixed. Storage virtualization, along with server virtualization, are generally the most popular services as they are usually the easiest and most cost effective to implement.
Hardware virtualization refers to taking the components of a real machine and making it virtual. This virtual machine works like the real machine and is usually a computer with an operating system. The software is ordinarily separated from the hardware resources, with the software often remaining on the physical machine. A good example is a Windows PC that runs a virtual version of Linux. There are different types of hardware virtualization, but this is the most common type used by businesses.
If you would like to learn more about virtualization and how it can help your business, please contact us today.