Have you been thinking about using server virtualization, but you’re not quite sure how it will benefit your business?
In a nutshell, server virtualization uses existing physical resources more efficiently to reduce your operating costs and can give you access to special features you can’t get from traditional servers.
Here are some of the strongest use cases for this technology.
1. Server consolidation
Do you have different servers dedicated to specific tasks? Maybe you have one or more of the following:
· File server
· Web server
· Database server
· Email server
· Application server
From a technical standpoint, it makes sense to have separate servers because some use require a specific operating system. Additionally, you don’t want to risk crashing a server that has multiple purposes because the impact is greater.
Having multiple physical servers isn’t necessary when you use virtualization. With multiple partitions running virtual servers, you can consolidate servers that have different requirements, including operating systems. Each server can run a different operating system and is independent of the rest of the partitions.
2. Automatic provisioning
You probably don’t have time to provision resources manually, and this issue is eliminated entirely with virtualization. Once you set up your system, you can deploy new servers and provision resources on-demand automatically.
Even though virtualization keeps all of your virtual servers separate, they still operate from the same pool of resources. However, each virtual server has access to all the physical machine’s resources. Instead of determining a set allotment for each use, you can program your server to automatically provision memory, storage, and additional resources on demand anytime it’s needed.
When you rely on physical servers, you have to pay monthly for all of the resources you might ever need for each server. For example, say you have a web server, an application server, and an email server. You have to pay full price for each server and its resources. It’s cheaper to run one server for all of your needs, but technical requirements force you to use separate machines. Whether you run on-premises servers or have an offsite data center, this is costly.
With virtualization, you can buy or rent a single physical server with the resources you need for all of your tasks and then partition the hard drive into separate, virtual servers. Your email server will be completely independent of your web and application servers despite running on the same physical machine.
4. You prefer hosting your client’s websites
If you like to host your clients’ websites, server virtualization will create less of an impact on your physical resources and keep costs low. The more clients you host, the more resources you’ll need. When those resources are virtual, it costs less.
Clients have a variety of requirements, and some might need a specific hosting environment down to the operating system. For instance, if a client uses ASP.net or Microsoft Exchange, that won’t work in a Linux environment. When you use virtualization, you can create a virtual server that runs on Windows just for that client without having to buy or contract another physical server.
Similarly, your web team might prefer working on the back end through cPanel, which requires the server to be running on Linux and is incompatible with Windows.
Hosting your clients’ websites is a good way to generate more revenue and make work more convenient. If you’ve been avoiding this, virtualization makes it worth reconsidering.
5. Disaster recovery
Server virtualization will help you if you ever need to recover files quickly after a data disaster. First, it’s extremely easy to back up a virtual machine, including all files, configurations, and the virtual disk. You’ll need more storage space to do this, but it’s beneficial in the long run.
The biggest benefit is a quick recovery; you can restore a virtual server in the same amount of time it takes to recopy all disk and configuration files. You don’t need to install or configure operating systems and applications. This process is about 10-20 times faster than reconfiguring a standard server.
6. Easy server clusters
Server clusters are groups of servers that share the same applications, and configurations, and have access to the same files. When one server fails, another takes over as the active server to ensure nonstop services. The problem with traditional servers is that you have to pay for all the backup servers even when you don’t use them.
You can create server clusters with virtualization, which means you’ll only have to pay for one physical server.
Maximize your resources with virtualization
Traditional servers are quickly becoming a thing of the past. From better cybersecurity to cost-savings and scalability, there are many reasons to use server virtualization instead.