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First, a quick summery of server virtualization for the uninitiated.
Server virtualization is a way of running multiple servers on a single physical machine. Each virtual server or virtual machine thinks it is running on its own physical machine while in reality it is just using resources allocated to it by the host. Wikipedia
Now on to the list:
Server virtualization enables businesses to reduce the number of servers and hardware devices they need. This in turn reduces the infrastructure and maintenance costs, as well as the cost of power consumption and space needed to house physical machines.
Server virtualization permits a business to consolidate workloads of underutilized server machines onto a smaller number of fully utilized machines. Some virtualization solutions allow for automatic expansion of storage capacity if a server is running out of space, enabling more efficient use of hard drive space.
Virtual machines are hardware-independent, making possible easy migration from one physical machine to another and for new and different hardware to be used during recovery. In the event of a disaster a virtual machine backup snapshot or a virtual machine image can be reloaded quickly without operating system installations, upgrades, patches and reconfigurations.
Virtualization requires fewer physical servers to be maintained by IT staff and most maintenance can now be done remotely from a central common console. Consolidation and central management offers additional benefits to companies with regulatory compliance requirements like SOX, HIPAA, GLBA, and PCI.
Virtualization allows the development of a standard virtual server build that can be easily duplicated; this speeds up server deployment and pre-production testing. Actual production servers can be replicated to test against new application in non production environments, during testing snapshots allow for quick undo of changes and settings.
Older applications that have compatibility issues with newer software or must run on a certain version of an operating system can be run on a single dedicated virtual machine. This gives you the benefits of using next-generation hardware without having to maintain separate older and slower servers with proprietary software or systems that are no longer supported.
Virtualization tolerates multiple types of operating systems to coexist on a single hardware platform. All of the virtual servers run can be rebooted independently of the host and or other virtual machines.
Feel free to contact BCT to discuss how this technology can benefit your business. Even if it turns out that your business does not have an immediate need for server virtualization, knowing the many benefits of this technology can help you plan for the future and weigh in on upcoming buying decisions.
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