What is Virtualization?
Virtualization is a technology that allows a single computer to act as several. Each virtual computer is referred to as a virtual machine, or VM. A VM does not have to be the same operating system as its host. For example, a Windows 8 computer can run virtual machines using Linux or an older version of Windows — even both or more at the same time. It can be used to save on energy costs, reduce downtime in the event of hardware failure, extend the life of older computer hardware, and even acts as an extra layer of security.
One of the most common uses of virtualization is to run several virtual servers on a single machine. Beyond saving space and reducing energy consumption, it also permits flexibility in resource management. If a particular service needs more memory or storage space, the amount allotted can be adjusted without having to take apart the machine and add new hardware.
The problem: the computers used at your organization are in dire need of upgrading, and the cost is daunting. The solution? Don’t upgrade! Instead, use servers running virtualization software to transform your existing computers into terminals that won’t require any new hardware purchases for the foreseeable future. A single server running virtualization software can handle the workload of many individual users.
Virtualization can be used to run older software that won’t work on newer machines. If you need to utilize a program that isn’t compatible with modern computers, a VM can be used to bridge the gap. If you’ve held back on upgrading because your workflow includes software that requires Windows XP (or even older operating systems), virtualization can free you from that restraint.
Virtual machines can be configured to isolate themselves from some or all of your network. They can be backed up and restored more quickly than an entire computer, and can easily “roll back” to previous states if needed. A virtual machine can even be used to keep users from interfacing with any hardware you don’t want to provide access to.
Virtualization provides flexibility, reduces cost and complexity, and improves security. Let Net56 leverage its cutting-edge cloud technology in your favor. Contact us today to learn how virtualization can help your organization.