Running your own business can be an indescribably rewarding experience, but it definitely has its ups and downs. There are plenty of good days, but the fact of the matter is sometimes being an entrepreneur is hard. Many of entrepreneurs’ longest days are spent seeking out the newest and best technologies to keep their companies ahead of the competition. But here’s the good news: your search is over.
Virtualization is an increasingly popular IT solution for entrepreneurs, and with good reason. It’s a reliable and budget-friendly IT solution that will streamline your company’s workflows and make it easier than ever to meet your company’s growth goals.
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What is virtualization?
Virtualization simply means making a virtual version of something. In terms of IT, this basically means creating simulated computing environments. The virtualization process allows you to run multiple virtualized resources from a single server. Here are a few other key terms you’ll want to know:
- Virtual Machine (VM). Virtual machines, or VMs, are the virtual version of resources created by the virtualization process. As mentioned above, they are basically simulated computing environments.
- Hypervisor Software. When you have multiple virtual machines operating on a single physical machine, you need a way to keep everything organized. Hypervisor software is what manages your VMs to keep everything running smoothly.
- Physical to Virtual (P2V) Migration. If you’re currently storing your company’s operating system, applications, and data in a physical computing environment, this is what you’d call the process of moving those resources to a virtual environment.
- Virtual to Virtual (V2V) Migration. Similar to P2V migration, but your resources start out in a different place. If you’re currently storing your company’s operating system, applications, and data in a virtual system, this is what you’d call the process of moving those resources to a different virtual environment.
- Storage Area Network (SAN). SANs are networks or subnetworks that can be virtualized to increase their scalability. Hosts on the network can access the shared storage resources pooled on SANs as if they were accessing a drive on the computer itself.
Major advantages of virtualization
The right tools make an entrepreneur’s job much easier. Virtualization is an IT solution that provides a number of major benefits for small businesses. As you explore new technologies to boost your business, keep in mind what virtualization has to offer!
1. Operating system flexibility
Every operating system has its own advantages, and picking the right one for your business can be tricky. Now, you don’t have to. Virtualization allows you to run multiple operating systems in virtual servers on the same physical server. Allowing your developers to work in any environment on any device, it’s the ultimate compromise to the Windows vs. Mac debate.
2. Simple disaster recovery
Your company’s disaster recovery plan is the set of policies and procedures you follow in case something goes horribly wrong with your technology infrastructure. It backs you up in case of cyber attacks, natural disasters, and everything in between. Virtualization allows you to store snapshots of your server as frequently as you want to. If disaster strikes, you can simply revert your server to one of these configurations, making it faster and easier to restore your essential technologies and get back to work.
3. Shared storage
Virtualization allows your business to consolidate its storage resources. Instead of keeping your data on multiple physical machines, introducing virtual machines makes it possible to combine them. In addition to cutting down on your company’s storage costs, virtualization and shared storage provide the opportunity for centralized management, which makes it easier for you to control your resources.
Today, you can automate a variety of processes to eliminate some of the grunt work from your IT to-do list. That includes many of the tasks associated with virtualization. If you so choose, you can make virtualization an even more effective tool by linking systems and software to make processes like creating and storing server backups, building new desktops or servers, and provision additional space on your SAN self-regulating processes.
Virtualization is a quick and easy way to free up room in your budget by reducing your IT expenses. Consolidating servers means that your company has to pay for fewer devices. Plus, fewer servers means that you will spend less money on server maintenance. Virtualization also streamlines IT tasks that can otherwise be pretty time-consuming. For example, through virtualization, you can push new programs and software updates to all of the devices in your network simultaneously. Manual software installation takes considerably more time, and therefore, it’s also much more expensive. For a small business, the savings associated with virtualization can be invaluable.