Server virtualization isn’t a new concept. Large enterprises have been relying on it for years to maximize server utilization and uncouple server workloads from physical devices. Today, cloud computing has made the benefits of server virtualization readily available to small and medium-sized businesses, and we explore them below.
What Is Server Virtualization?
Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with server virtualization: the concept is easy to understand.
Basically, server virtualization divides physical servers into multiple isolated virtual machines by means of a software application. These virtual machines can run multiple operating systems independently and communicate with one another just like real servers.
Organizations can virtualize their own physical servers and turn them into multiple virtual servers to increase resource utilization, or they can take advantage of cloud computing and pay for virtualized servers managed by a hosting company.
The latter approach makes the most sense for SMBs because it offers several important benefits.
Benefit 1: More Agile Provisioning and Deployment
The business needs of small organizations can change quickly. How quickly? Just take a look at the disruption caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It took just a few months for established work routines to be shattered by sweeping lockdown measures, and many organizations that failed to adapt in time are not in business anymore.
Server virtualization provides a convenient alternative to purchasing, installing, and managing physical servers. When an organization needs to add new server workloads, such as when its employees suddenly move to remote working arrangements, it can do so without any hassle and large capital expenditure. And when the additional virtual resources stop being required, the organization can simply stop paying for them.
Benefit 2: Reduced Hardware Costs
Most servers are heavily underutilized. According to some statistics, the average small organization utilizes only 40 to 60 percent of its hardware resources. Why the huge gap between available resources and their actual utilization? Because many SMBs deal with seasonal cycles in demand, and they can’t afford to be unable to not be able to serve their customers when the demand for their services is at its peak.
With server virtualization, organizations can avoid spending money on purchasing and maintaining underutilized servers. Instead, they can dynamically purchase just the right amount of virtual server resources on a pay-as-you-go basis, never spending a dime more than what’s necessary.
Benefit 3: Improved Business Continuity
One important advantage of server virtualization is that it completely removes the dependency of server workloads on particular hardware. As long as the virtual server is compatible with the software application that makes virtualization possible, called a hypervisor, the exact hardware specifications of the physical server can vary greatly.
As such, virtual servers can be quickly and painlessly migrated from one physical server to a different one when a disaster strikes—no need to install and configure everything from scratch. They can also be easily backed up and replicated, so ensuring business continuity when relying on server virtualization becomes much easier.
Large enterprises have been taking advantage of server virtualization for years, and it’s time for SMBs to also explore the numerous benefits it has to offer. At BCA, we have a wealth of experience in helping small organizations in Miami, FL virtualize their IT infrastructure to save money, increase productivity, improve disaster recovery, and more. Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of server virtualization and how they can help your organization thrive.