What is Virtualization?
Servers were originally designed to run a single operating system and one application. Businesses need more than one server if they plan on running multiple applications. These powerful machines have only one task and typically run at a fraction of their capability. The resources of just one server are vastly underused due to its poor design. Virtualization of the server solves these issues.
Virtualization is the process of installing a small piece of software on a server that acts as a traffic cop. This traffic cop is called a Hypervisor. The Hypervisor allows multiple applications and multiple operating systems to be loaded onto a single server so it no longer has a narrow focus. The Hypervisor acts as a traffic cop because it can control the processes and put the server's resources where they are needed. The Hypervisor allows each virtual machine to run independently, thus eliminating conflicts from the beginning.
Example: Company A has 5 servers and they each run at 15% of their maximum capacity.
The addition of the Hypervisor (our traffic cop) to just one of those servers would allow the five servers to merge into one. Company A now has one server running at 75% of its maximum capacity rather than a floor full of 5 servers running at 15% utilization each. Company A would only have one server, in place of five, if they invested in virtualization from the beginning. Company A now saves on the cost of power, maintenance and cooling. Company A now has more floor real estate because there are four less bare metal servers utilizing floor space.
Virtualized servers utilize much lower levels of power than their traditional bare metal counterparts. The Hypervisor makes the server aware of the actual power needed to run the system at its current usage level and only needs as much power as necessary to complete the functions at that very moment.
Virtualization is not just a solution to help reduce the need for multiple servers but can also limit a company's dependency on desktop PC's. Company B reflects the average industry standard by having a computer for each employee. This means Company B needs to pay for power and maintenance of all computers. More computers will be ordered when Company B hires new employees. This means the IT department has to spend time loading the programs and settings for each piece of equipment. Company B also has to forecast for downtime when there is an update or new program to be loaded onto all the computers.
Virtualization for desktops uses the same technology as the server virtualization but allows multiple PC's to be run on a single server. The software allows PC users to experience the same look, feel and level of productivity as if they were working on a computer placed under their desk. The server's resources are shared by the various virtual PC's connected to it.
The server has a tremendous amount of storage and computing power that all virtual PC's can share. The PC user will now have a thin client on their desk. These thin clients are essentially a video card with an Ethernet port no bigger than the size of the office telephone. This device allows each user to remotely - and instantly - connect to the personalized virtual desktop located on a server within the data center.
Each employee now has their personal computer hosted by the company server that is designated for virtual desktops. Virtual desktops allow for instant updates, instant provisioning and instant access, no matter where the employee is stationed. The desktop is hosted in a central location so an employee can go to at any thin client terminal and pull up their personalized desktop, regardless if they are at home or on the road.
Virtualization can be taken one step further by using it in a storage environment. Storage devices can be reduced on to one machine very much like desktop and server consolidation. Once implemented, the SAN (Storage Area Network) will perform backup, archiving and recovery tasks with ease. There are several features with virtualization of storage that save money and reduce the need for investing in more storage.
Deduplication is a money-saving solution that removes the redundant data in the storage, thus allowing for the removal of duplicate files that take up precious space. A good example would be if John sent 10MB PowerPoint presentation to Suzie for review and Suzie opens her e-mail, reviews the presentation and changes the title. Suzie then sends the 10MB file back to John with her approval. The e-mail server now has saved 20MB of a file that was only changed by a few kilobytes.
Deduplication software running on virtualized storage devices would sniff out the redundant data and only save just one copy of the necessary changes. This simple example just saved a company 10MB of space of storage in a fraction of a second.
Why Choose GCA Technology Services for Your Virtualization Solutions?
GCA Technology Services has the experts and the solutions to help make your processes more efficient by centralizing your hardware into one location. Virtualization solutions are designed to optimize the capacity of the devices that businesses frequently rely on. Reduce your electricity costs by running one server in the place of 5 or more bare metal devices. Utilize your servers to house all of your employees' computers, leaving just monitors, mice and keyboards as your only expense for technology when a new hire starts. The expensive piece of machinery, traditionally placed under the desk, is now replaced by a thin client that allows the user to have his or her personal desktop appear on the screen at any workstation.
Imagine being able to reducing your budget projection of new storage devices because you saved 50% of your total storage in just one day by virtualizing your storage devices. Whether your goal is to save money, increase productivity, implement a disaster recovery plan or to go green, we invite you to contact us so we can assist you in reaching your objectives.