The leaders of IT teams everywhere are always on the lookout for technology, strategies, and tactics to make their lives easier without sacrificing their systems’ security or efficiency.
If your IT team isn’t capitalizing on virtualization yet, you’re falling behind the times and missing out on various benefits that can increase security, ease your IT team’s workload, and more.
In this post, we’ll review what virtualization is and its primary benefits that IT specialists worldwide boast about.
What is virtualization?
Virtualization is a cloud computing process where you use an abstraction layer of software, called a hypervisor, to detach your operating systems from their hardware (your server).
With a hypervisor, sometimes called a virtual machine monitor, you can create and run different, virtual instances of various operating systems on the same server at the same time.
The virtual instances of operating systems attached to the hypervisor are called virtual machines.
Types of virtualization
Virtualization type is determined based on whichever resource your team is creating the virtual environment for.
- Server virtualization
- Network virtualization
- Desktop virtualization
- Storage virtualization
- Hardware and software virtualization
The most common type of virtualization your IT team will likely deal with is server virtualization. Server virtualization consolidates resources from multiple servers into one and separates them into individual virtual environments (VMs or virtual machines) with a hypervisor.
For more information about virtual machines and their security benefits, check out our blog post on how VMs can reduce hacking damage to your systems.
What are the benefits of virtualization?
At a high-level, virtualization is a tool your IT team can use to increase your cybersecurity and your network and operating systems’ efficiency.
When your IT systems are more secure and efficient, your team can reap the benefits of agility and scalability to save costs on maintenance and operations for the IT side of your business. In short, when your team uses virtualization optimally, it makes IT easier to manage and reduce its associated costs.
The benefits of virtualization that we will investigate further in this post include:
- More cost-effective IT operating costs
- Strengthening network security and reducing system downtime
- Easing the work strain on your IT team
- Optimizing system development processes
Cut down IT operating costs
Quite simply, hosting multiple instances of computers and applications on one piece of hardware (like a server) cuts down the costs of maintaining the physical servers.
If you can reduce the number of servers your IT department needs to operate your business smoothly, you’ll trim the costs associated with:
- the space required to store them,
- the energy to run them,
- and the staff needed to maintain them.
Increase network security and reduce system downtime
With virtualization, you can create multiple clones of operating systems. So if a disaster (like malware infecting an operating system through an email) occurs, you can isolate and dismantle the affected instance and reload an uninfected clone or backup quickly.
You can reduce system downtime from hours to minutes as long as you respond quickly to the disaster.
If virtualization protocols are part of your disaster recovery and business continuity plans, you shouldn’t struggle much with unplanned system downtime.
Ease the workload on your IT Team
If you harness the power of virtualization in your IT solutions, you will likely require fewer servers to maintain your operating systems. Having fewer servers reduces the amount of work your team needs to do to support your fleet’s physical machines.
You can install new programs and manage your updates across all your virtual machines on your servers instead of manually maintaining and updating device by device. Eliminating that tedious work makes your team more effective and productive. It will also free up more of their time for more impactful, strategic tasks like fortifying your cybersecurity or optimizing your technology infrastructure.
Virtualization also makes it easier to scale your data center for more storage or bandwidth. If you see that you need to ramp up resources, you can easily insert a new virtual machine into your data center with minimal effort.
Streamline system development processes
With your IT environment segmented into virtual machines, your developers can quickly spin-up copies of a virtual machine without disrupting your live environments.
For example, let’s say your team develops a software patch to address some security issues they’ve flagged. They can create a virtual instance for testing or staging to observe the patch’s impact on your systems without fear of breaking anything in your production/live environment.
Testing system changes in copied, virtual environments allows your team to identify and eliminate any bugs before the changes go live. Developing and testing with virtualized environments results in fewer disruptions to your live environments, reduces downtime, and increases your IT team’s efficacy.
Virtualization can be a powerful tool
When you’re looking for the right network solutions for your business, it helps to understand the terminology and the basics of the technology you might need.
A potential partner or service provider should take the time to explain the complexities of virtualization and show you how it can help your unique business needs.
If you’d like to learn more about how virtualization can help reduce your IT team’s stress and the cost of your operations, get in touch with one of our specialists today. A 10-minute phone call can make all the difference for your business.