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A beginners quick guide to virtualization

Virtualization. It’s a technical subject. It’s also an IT solution that may or may not make sense for your business based on a number of factors. In order to know for sure, it’s helpful to have a working definition of what virtualization is, and what it’s designed to do.

Here’s a quick guide to virtualization, in layman’s terms, and what it can potentially do for your business operations.

What is it?

We’ll keep it as simple as possible. When businesses access and store data housed on servers, they usually gather that data from more than one server. For example, they might get their software from one, and store client sensitive data on another.

Virtualization is simply an approach where all of these tasks are performed and hosted on the same server.

To accomplish this, a highly qualified technician will split the server’s storage into multiple sections, each with their own specific function. These are called virtual machines because they function like individual physical servers but operate within a single virtualized server.

Think of virtualization kind of like cloud computing on a split server. This can have a variety of advantages. Let’s discuss a few of them.

The base advantages 

Virtualization’s greatest benefit lies in capital investment savings. Rather than a business having to buy multiple servers to perform the various functions demonstrated above, a virtualized server performs all the tasks with just one physical server.

This saves the high up-front investment costs and also the resource consumption costs associated with operating, storing, and maintaining multiple servers.

Beyond this savings benefit, virtualization’s benefits closely mirror those of cloud storage. You get the mobility to access your data, programs and files from any internet-connected device. You also get the ability to backup and store your data somewhere other than your devices’ hard-drives.

Related: 5 business functionality hacks with virtualization

Is virtualization right for your business?

That depends. Often virtualization makes the most sense for enterprise-level companies or SMBs whose growth is trending in that direction. Say you’re an enterprise-level company who might require 50 dedicated servers, virtualization could hypothetically limit your capital investment to ten servers split five times.

It’s a more complex process than this in that it depends on how much computing power you need to be dedicated to each application on your servers. But suffice to say, at a certain level of business virtualization, there’s a conversation worth having.

With ten rather than 50 servers, you only have to pay for the energy to power ten servers, rather than 50. Not to mention you won’t need to deal with the security, oversight and maintenance required for those 50 servers.

Related: 3 technology solutions that will make you work better and sweat less

Conclusion

Virtualization is far too complex of a subject for a single blog post.  We’ve only covered the absolute basics here. If you require more information or want to see if it makes sense for your business’s unique needs, reach out to us and let’s chat.