Virtulaization – Is it Only for Smaller Businesses?

I’ve heard the term virtualization for some time now and frequently wondered what it was all about. I had an idea, of course, but always considered it something for larger businesses. In some ways it is, but depending on the needs of your smaller business virtualization can definitely be something for you to consider.
For example, if you have 3 servers – one for email, one for web server and one for application sharing you might find that that the 3 servers are under utilized.
Virtualization software has its own set of virtual hardware (e.g., RAM, CPU, NIC, etc.) upon which an operating system and applications are loaded, according to VMWare, one of the leading virtualization software vendors.
eChannel Line writes Aside from cost and consolidation, another area that virtualization has helped companies, Parag Patel, VMware senior director of alliances said, is increasing server capacity utilization. He noted an IDC study that said only nine per cent of server capacity is being utilized with 90 per cent of it sitting idle.
IBM’s solution for this, is it’s Series i server, which I’ve covered.
VMWare writes on its web site that some of the benefits of virtualization include:
Partitioning
* Multiple applications and operating systems can be supported within a single physical system
* Servers can be consolidated into virtual machines on either a scale-up or scale-out architecture
* Computing resources are treated as a uniform pool to be allocated to virtual machines in a controlled manner
Isolation
* Virtual machines are completely isolated from the host machine and other virtual machines. If a virtual machine crashes, all others are unaffected
* Data does not leak across virtual machines and applications can only communicate over configured network connections
Encapsulation
* Complete virtual machine environment is saved as a single file; easy to back up, move and copy
* Standardized virtualized hardware is presented to the application – guaranteeing compatibility.
If you find that you are managing multiple servers talk to your IT consultant and consider if some form of virtualization (IBM’s server or software) would be good for you.

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Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com . Editor and Founder, Smart Hustle Magazine Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook