In traditional servers, one physical machine runs one operating system and may have multiple roles such as file share, domain controller, application. This arrangement leaves much of the server’s processing power underutilized and have possible conflicts with the different roles. By contrast, a server host can run several virtual servers. Each virtual server behaves exactly as it would if it had the physical server to itself—unaffected by the other software that happens to exist on the same physical machine. With this structure, the physical server’s full processing power is put to better use. Hardware that would be idle in a traditional server is instead active, supporting multiple virtual servers.
They can assign virtual servers to business units or affiliated companies (among other uses). Each business function—database server, application server, webserver, etc.—has a dedicated virtual server to meet its needs. These virtual servers can have their own domain names, IP addresses, applications and file directories. As far as the user is concerned, there is no apparent difference with this setup, except improved performance. The business as a whole benefits from reduced IT costs.
They often use virtual servers to consolidate multiple physical machines to a single physical machine or cloud hosting platform. This lowers costs associated with using (and upgrading) more hardware than the business might need.
Virtualization helps control resource allocation and reduces hardware redundancy. You’re only using the capabilities you need at a time, so you’re not wasting money on more hardware than you need. With a virtual server, you can simply add or reduce resources such as CPU, RAM and disk space from a server that isn’t currently using them and make them available where you need them.
With most virtual platforms, you can “move” a virtual server live from one “virtual host” to another. This allows you to manage hardware maintenance without suffering the typical required downtime. It also provides a level of server redundancy if a physical host were to have a mechanical failure. Also, virtual servers make great test environments. You can isolate a virtual server from the rest of your network and test new internal applications and software without the risk of a blind, company-wide rollout.
Should I use virtual servers for my business?
The answer is almost certainly “yes.” Most businesses benefit from the use of virtual servers. Why “almost certainly”? There are some exceptions. The best way to find out whether your company will benefit is to talk with a certified IT professional. Our experts can give you the pros and cons so you can make an informed decision. We’re ready to talk when you are.
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