Virtualisation

What is virtualisation? If you’re reading this and it’s the first time you’ve heard of or looked into virtualisation, then there is a lot to talk about, and this web page is not the ideal forum. If you are new to this world then it would be much easier to discuss the possible virtualised needs of your business in person, but let’s make a start of virtualisation and how it can improve the IT infrastructure of a business.

What does virtualisation do?

Virtualisation lets one server do the job of multiple computers, by sharing the resources of a single computer across multiple environments. It does this using specialist software such as Microsoft’s HyperV or VMWare’s vShpere. Both of these industry leaders have created software solutions that have allowed businesses to reduce the physical number of servers on their network.

Typically, in a non-virtualised environment, each different software application that was being accessed by users had its own server, and in most cases this meant that the server was only running at around 30% capacity, yet it was still using the same power and cooling as if it were working to full capacity. The idea of virtualisation is to make use of this unused capacity on the server to run a separate application.

Server virtualisation encapsulates one or more complete server operating systems, and their applications, within a virtualised environment on a single host server. These virtual servers are separated from the physical hardware on which they live by a virtualisation layer (or Hypervisor). As well as protecting the host server from virtual server crashes or malicious applications, the virtualisation layer allows host servers to schedule and allocate resources (CPU cycles, memory and disk space) between the virtual servers. It also allows the migration of complete virtual machines (VMs) between physical servers.

What are the benefits?

Virtualisation helps you reduce capital costs through server consolidation and improve operating costs through automation, while minimising lost revenue by reducing both planned and unplanned downtime. Other benefits include:

  • Energy savings. By migrating applications from multiple servers onto one, you’ll save energy and costs.
  • Simplified disaster recovery. You’re now dealing with one machine instead of many. Data backups, restores and recoveries are now much simpler and and can be performed in a fraction of the time it takes with multiple servers.
  • Increased uptime. Today, most server virtualisation platforms offer capabilities such as storage migration, live migration, high availability, fault tolerance, and distributed resource scheduling – features that enable virtualized servers to quickly recover from unplanned outages.
  • Do more with less. Server virtualisation makes your systems more efficient and agile – and frees up space (and that mess of wires) in your data center area.
  • Reduce costly redundancy. Now you don’t need to pay for all that unused computer capacity. Virtualisation enables you to perfectly size your virtual equipment.

Our team of experienced consultants and engineers have the breadth of knowledge and experience to advise on the most appropriate virtualisation platform for your organisation. As we are solution-agnostic, we can offer independent advice on the most appropriate solution based on your current – and future – organisational requirements. By working closely with the major suppliers of virtualisation technologies, including Microsoft and VMware, our engineers are always aware of emerging developments and how best to use these to our clients’ advantage.

If you’d like to talk to us about your virtualisation requirement, get in touch.