Virtualisation is the creation of a virtual (rather than actual) version of something, and in IT terms this could be an operating system, a server, a storage device or network resources.
Operating system virtualisation is the use of software to allow a piece of hardware to run multiple operating system images at the same time. The technology began on mainframes decades ago, allowing administrators to avoid wasting expensive processing power. Today there has been resurgence in this technology and there are three main areas where virtualisation is worth consideration: network; storage and server virtualisation. However, it’s mainly the server aspect which interests many organisations. Where you may in the past have had, for example, three separate servers running different applications; with virtualisation you could have one higher specification system capable of running all the applications, and potentially others too. By opting to use virtualisation, you will encounter higher upfront costs but should save money in the longer term.
With server virtualisation it is still “business as usual” for your end users as they will not notice any difference, however, the benefits to the organisation are:
Flexibility to respond quickly to changing business objectives and challenges.
Speed to deploy a virtual infrastructure or alter your set-up in a fraction of the time it would take with a physical system.
Simplify tasks like maintenance and backup because there is less hardware to deal with – reducing scheduled and unscheduled downtime.
Reduce costs for IT management, hardware, power consumption and maintenance.
Run several different operating systems, software and even legacy applications simultaneously on a single server.
Save space & energy – fewer physical servers means more room and a smaller carbon footprint.
If you want to get the most from your resources and improve efficiency, virtualisation technology could be the answer.