Technology We’re Thankful For: Virtualization

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Some families have a Thanksgiving tradition of going around the holiday table and sharing what everyone is thankful for this year.

This year, we want to express our gratitude for virtualization.

Why is virtualization a technology to be thankful for? There are lots of reasons, across server, network, and desktop virtualization alike.

The Ultimate Benefit: Saving Money, Saving Time

Let’s face it, most CEOs aren’t going to be impressed by a well-oiled server room, even if it is perfectly dusted and air conditioned. But being able to consolidate virtual resources and get servers up and running within minutes? That may catch the executive’s eye.

Even though there’s a certain nostalgic charm in setting up physical machines, there’s no downplaying the time-saving and cost-saving benefits of virtualization.

We’re thankful because it’s fairly simple to explain: Fewer physical assets means money saved on space, maintenance, and utilities.

Going one step further, provisioning and deployment is quicker in virtualized environments, meaning time is saved throughout the entire timeline of purchasing hardware (including paperwork), waiting for delivery, acquiring licenses, and going through the install process.

All of the benefits we’re listing here can lead to increased efficiency, and with increased efficiency comes reduced costs, not to mention an easier work life for you. And that’s something to be thankful for.

Preventing Headaches that Come with Downtime, Dependency, and Disaster

While many of your users may not be able to define uptime, they certainly notice it when it’s, well, down.

With virtualization comes increased uptime, because any issue that arises with one virtual server or machine doesn’t necessarily affect the others.

Hand in hand with uptime is business continuity and availability. To your colleagues in a virtualized environment, business never stops.

For example, you can run your company’s accounting software on one VM and document management and collaboration tools on another. The applications are completely segregated, so when you do maintenance on your document management software and end up rebooting the machine, you won’t have the CFO calling you angrily because he can’t pull the company’s Q3 numbers.

Even though your end users don’t necessarily know the nuts and bolts of the system underneath their day-to-day usage, they too reap the benefits of virtualization.

Now let’s say something a little more significant happens than a simple application update. Virtualization has you covered in the world of backup and disaster recovery more comprehensively and reliably than strategies of the past.

Creating replication sites is much simpler than with physical servers. In the event of a system issue or datacenter failure, you’ll be thankful that your server can be backed up down to the file and setting level, and restored simply.

Variety and Flexibility with Virtualization

Want to test out software on different operating systems? Great!

With virtualization, running different operating systems is no problem. No matter what you’re testing, you can keep your testing environments isolated, and if you do make a critical error you can easily revert back to previous snapshots.

Virtualization also saves you from vendor lock-in, because unlike in pre-virtualization systems, software and hardware aren’t inherently tied.

Sure, you’ll still have contracts and certain sunk costs to contend with, but it’s much easier to be flexible when you aren’t dealing with maintaining and replacing hardware and equipment on the same level. Once your contract is up, you can easily pick a new vendor if needed because migration is simpler.

Whether you’ve been in the business for decades or you’re a new IT pro, it’s hard to imagine a world without virtualization. It gives you the power to save your company money and yourself time and headaches, and you’re able to run the business of IT with much more efficiency and flexibility.

Even if you don’t mention virtualization to your cousin over Thanksgiving dinner, it’s truly a technology to be thankful for.

Explore virtualization training with CBT Nuggets to discover just how thankful you can be for this amazing technology!

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