The mind of the never-satisfied human race has always looked for ways that will not limit their capabilities and efficiencies into this mere physical world, for technologies that will help them to reach beyond the constraints. In the world of IT, Server virtualization has become such a milestone. And while server virtualization has continued to mature and advance itself, more and more virtualized organizations are taking full advantage of the offering – for those who are stalling to take the big step, their virtual environment is being deprived of the 100 percent virtualized data center of the hard-core virtual administrator.
There are many benefits to an IT organization or business when they choose to implement a server virtualization strategy. If you are among those who are waiting to take the plunge, here are 10 great reasons why you should be jumping into the server virtualization game with both feet right now. These are tried and true benefits that have withstood the test of time (in this case, the last 10 years).
1: Help move things to the cloud -
To join the cloud…. By virtualizing your servers and abstracting away the underlying hardware, you are preparing yourself for a move into the cloud. Start by moving from a simple virtualized data centre to a private cloud. As the public cloud matures, along with the technology around it and you will be confident enough to move your data out of your data centre and into a cloud hosting facility. And when you do, you will have had a head start in getting there.
2: Extend the life of older applications -
Who doesn’t have old legacy applications still running in their environment?! May be it doesn’t run on a modern operating system, or on a newer hardware, or perhaps your IT team is afraid to touch it, and chances are good that the person or company who created it is no longer around to update it. But you can extend its life by virtualizing and encapsulating the application and its environment. Reduce the hardware space!
3: Isolate applications -
To isolate applications, data centres are typically moved to a “one app/one server” model. But this leads to physical server sprawl, increased costs, and underutilized servers. Server virtualization provides application isolation and in the same time, consolidating many of these virtual machines across far fewer physical servers and cutting down on server waste.
4: Improve disaster recovery -
Virtualization offers an organization three important components when it comes to building out a disaster recovery solution. The first is its hardware abstraction capability. A disaster recovery site no longer needs to keep identical hardware on hand to match the production environment. Virtualization makes it possible to remove dependency on a particular server model. Second, by consolidating servers down to fewer physical machines in production, an organization can more easily create an affordable replication site. And third, most enterprise server virtualization platforms have software that can help automate the failover when a disaster does strike. You will be able to actually test and see your failover plan work in reality, rather than hoping and praying that it will work if and when the time comes.
5: Increase uptime -
Most server virtualization platforms, unlike the physical servers offer capabilities such as live migration, storage migration, fault tolerance, high availability, and distributed resource scheduling. These technologies keep virtual machines chugging along or give them the ability to quickly recover from unplanned outages. The ability to quickly and easily move a virtual machine from one server to another is perhaps one of the greatest single benefits of virtualization with far-reaching uses.
6: Reduce hardware vendor lock-in -
Server virtualization abstracts away the underlying hardware and replaces it with virtual hardware, providing the data centre managers and owners with a lot more flexibility when it comes to the server equipment they can choose from. This can also help in negotiating tool with the hardware vendors when the time comes to renew or purchase more equipment.
7: Faster server provisioning -
Server virtualization enables elastic capacity to provide system provisioning and deployment at a moment’s notice. You can quickly clone a gold image, master template, or existing virtual machine to get a server up and running within minutes. The next time you have to fill out purchase orders, wait for shipping and receiving, you can forget about racking, stacking, and cabling a physical machine only to spend additional hours waiting for the operating system and applications to complete their installations.
8: QA/lab environments -
After completing a server consolidation exercise in the data center, why not donate that hardware to a QA group or build out a lab environment? Virtualization allows you to easily build out a self-contained lab or test environment, operating on its own isolated network. See by yourselves how building something like would be cost prohibitive with purely physical servers, and in many cases, technologically improbable.
9: Reduce the data centre footprint -
In addition to saving more of your company’s green with a smaller energy footprint, server consolidation with virtualization will also reduce the overall footprint of your entire data centre. Thus you’ll need fewer servers, less networking gear, a smaller number of racks – meaning, less data centre floor space required. Save you money if you don’t happen to own your own data centre and instead make use of a co-location facility.
10: Save energy, go green -
You don’t need to plant a thousand trees or wear t-shirts claiming how much you like to save whales in order to be one of those people who does his part by caring for the environment!(Although, the ideas are pretty cool actually…) But save energy you must. By migrating physical servers over to virtual machines and consolidating them onto far fewer physical servers, you’ll lower monthly power and cooling costs in the data centre. This was an early victory chant for server virtualization vendors back in the early part of 2000, and it still holds true today.