Large enterprises have long been using virtualization, which lets them consolidate computing resources in fewer servers so they can better manage IT and ensure users get the storage space and processing power they need for work. Thanks to the rise of cloud-computing, smaller businesses can also take advantage of the technology and enjoy big savings, built-in disaster recovery and practically unlimited scalability.
Virtualizing your operational environment can still be expensive and time consuming, which is why you need to plan carefully and evaluate the options. The free VMware vSphere Hypervisor offers businesses a great opportunity to get started with virtualization, and having a fully managed virtualization strategy powered by vSphere Essentials can really pay off. Let’s find out how:
Backups and business continuity
One of the most important benefits of deploying virtualization technology is that it lets you convert your entire IT infrastructure into a software-defined environment. This is much easier to back up, duplicate and move around. However, that’s not necessarily the case with free editions of vSphere, which require you to have a separate physical server for running backup processes.
Although manual backups of any virtualized resources are, at least from a technical standpoint, fairly straightforward, these processes take time and are naturally more vulnerable to costly human error. With the help of a managed services provider, you can free up valuable IT time while also ensuring that every virtual machine you have has an up-to-date duplicate running in an off-site data center.
Managing multiple servers
No business should ever be relying on a single server to host their IT infrastructure. They need at least two servers including one primary and one backup server in case the former malfunctions. Since the free editions of VMware do not provide any automated failover functionality, you’ll need to manually implement the backup system, a process which inevitably leads to more downtime.
To get the most out of VMware, small business users should choose the Essentials package, which allows for three dual-CPU servers. However, businesses with minimal tolerance for downtime may want to consider making the jump to the Essentials Plus Kit. Keep in mind that implementing and configuring these servers is fairly complex, so consult with a virtualization expert if possible.
High availability is usually the primary motivator for business leaders who are thinking about implementing a virtualization strategy. After all, the main purpose of virtualization is to consolidate multiple virtual servers into a single physical system while being able to easily migrate virtual machines from one host to another in the event of a failure. However, to take advantage of this, you’ll need more than one physical machine.
With an automated failover capability, downtime can typically be reduced down to minutes. Combined with cloud-hosting, there is no need to be concerned with downtime at all. Furthermore, with the right vSphere solution at your disposal, you’ll be able to greatly extend the availability of your virtualization environment by adapting it to a hybrid environment and providing limitless accessibility to your virtual machines.
In spite of undisputable benefits, virtualization does come with some limitations. For the most part, these are governed by the capabilities of the underlying hardware and networking infrastructure. Factor in cloud-hosted virtual machines, and you also have to think about the performance and reliability of your internet connection. After all, the end user experience needs to be just as good, if not better, than the desktop experience many people are used to.
By default, a virtual machine can use all available bandwidth on the network, which can greatly affect performance of other virtual machines. Using network optimization software, you should be able to prioritize different systems by specifying a maximum limit to ensure that each one gets what it needs to function optimally.
Arnet Technologies helps transform businesses with virtualization solutions that greatly extend your existing VMware environment beyond its normal capabilities. Talk to us today to find out more.