In today’s world, the main reason why IT organizations are considering virtualization of some, or all, of their computing infrastructures is that the technology helps reduce costs drastically.
Consider, for example, the case of the server infrastructure where you would increase the utilization of your servers from 15% to 80%, thus eliminating the need of extra physical servers, which are costly to run and maintain. In this scenario, you are simply consolidating what would have been multiple physical servers onto one machine running a number of virtual servers.
Such a setup brings about several cost and productivity benefits that are described below. In this blog post, we will discuss the 5 major benefits of switching to virtualization technology.
- Cheaper implementation
Consider, for example, the case of the server infrastructure where instead of purchasing 5 Windows Server 2003 licences, which would cost you something in the region of $10,000 – $15,000 in licensing fees, you would simply purchase 1 license and host the remaining 4 servers without any extra cost. Furthermore, having fewer physical server saves you money on power bills, maintenance fees and datacentre office space and fees.
- Business doesn’t stop
Consolidating software applications, operating systems and hardware platforms, leads to fewer redundant physical devices needed to serve as primary machines. Conventional high-availability setups often require a 1:1 ratio of software-to-hardware while in the virtualized environment multiple servers can fail over to a set of backup servers. This therefore allows for a many-to-one configuration ratio, which increases service uptime and availability.
- Higher availability and uptime
One of the main advantages of virtual servers is that they are completely segregated from one another, running as though they rely on separate hardware, which decreases downtime during maintenance periods. This means that changes can be made to one virtual server without affecting others sharing the same hardware. This means that maintenance can be done in a production environment without affecting business and causing disruptions.
- Speedy Installations
Virtual devices allow fast installations of new server applications or router and switch software services, because you no longer have to purchase equipment that can take days or weeks to get it ordered, delivered and set up. Instead, you simply configure a new virtual machine, router, switch or storage drive using the special virtualization management software tool you use. This process generally consists of simpoly copying an image, thereby significantly reducing setup times.
- Corporate directives
Corporate control mandates such as Sarbanes-Oxley, Gramm Leach Bliley and HIPAA have implemented stringent privacy, security and auditing requirements on organizations. This has led organizations to use consolidated computing and networking infrastructures. Virtualization helps support higher management, security and tracking that the stricter directives required, in a lucrative way. It is innately easier to manage and enforce policies and to configure software from a central, common console than in a distributed manner, which makes it difficult to remain up to date with software updates.