We love fielding questions from clients; we truly appreciate them placing the amount of trust in our team that they do. As we’ve mentioned before trust and passion for our client's businesses are what set us apart from the competition. However, we one topic has been popping up frequently enough that we decided it would be helpful to dedicate an entire blog post to the subject.
Are Virtualization & “The Cloud” The Same Thing?
It is understandable why folks can confuse these two topics. Since virtualization is a foundational concept for cloud computing it is easy to use these terms interchangeably. Virtualization referrers to software that interacts with hardware to create a cloud computing environment where users can interact with applications and the operating systems can be run through the same server. The environment created is known as “the cloud”.
Confusion often occurs because these two concepts work together to deliver a service. The discussion inevitably turns towards the needs around “public” cloud or “private” cloud virtualized environments. The right answer will vary depending on the level of need but some general factors to consider are the total cost of each, management responsibilities, and the level of on-site staff needed for integration.
How Much Money Can Virtualization Save Me?
Potentially a lot. Virtualization creates a situation where there is no hardware or configuration needed for additional virtual machines. The ability to set up virtualized environments can absolutely lead to cost savings – but “VM sprawl” can become a concern. When the amount of virtual environments exceeds the hardware’s capacity to handle the demand, bottlenecks can occur. We recommend closely monitoring VM metrics on a monthly basis to ensure things continue to run smoothly.
There Are A Variety of Virtualization Solutions
Think of a virtualized environment like a pair of pants, it’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of solution. Colin King described six common types of virtualization solutions available today:
These include workstation-based virtualization, server virtualization, storage virtualization, desktop virtualization, application virtualization and network virtualization. Of these six, however, server virtualization has taken the virtualization game to a whole new level in that server virtualization does not require the installation of a physical server. For many small businesses, the option to virtualize even the server is extremely beneficial and is the reason server virtualization is so popular. However, if you are considering virtualization it is important to examine all the solutions to determine which makes the most sense for your business.
You Need Dedicated Software and Hosting for Virtualization
The decision about what software and what hardware (hosting) service to use needs to be made at the beginning of the virtualization concersation. We typically recommend VMWare and Hyper-v as these have established themselves as some of the best-of-breed solutions available on the market.
You Should Probably Have Some Help Setting Up Virtualization
Hopping into virtualization is not like switching from an Android cell phone over to an iPhone. While the benefits can be numerous, especially for small and medium sized businesses, there is a lot of room for error. Business News Daily offered some helpful questions to ask anyone you’re considering to set up a virtualized environment for your company:
-Is it a tried and tested solution? Research the vendor's track record of product innovation, success and customer adoption.
-Is there a vision and public roadmap for the solution? You want to understand how the solution will advance and how it will help your business in the long run.
-What type of ecosystem support exists for the solution? It's imperative that the vendor work with key business and industry-specific independent software vendors (ISVs), as well as a wide range of resellers, service providers and system integrators.
-Does the solution support openness and choice? As your business grows, you want the flexibility to evolve your products and processes, and the ability to incorporate other technologies over time.
Virtualization solutions from Continuous allow you to simplify your infrastructure and resource sharing, all while lowering costs. Get in touch with us if you would like to know more about virtualization and if it’s the right step for your company.