As with any networking project, the proper deployment of key infrastructure resources is vital to realizing the benefits of virtual systems. When dealing with virtualization services, there are really two infrastructures to consider: the physical and the virtual. Understanding the two will illustrate many of the reasons that virtualization has such a positive effect on your company.
One of the biggest single benefits of virtualization services is that they can greatly reduce your need for physical hardware and lead to significant savings on computer purchases. Rather than each server being separate from the others and only being used as people connect to it, a virtual network allows all your server resources to be pooled. This allows you to make far more effective use of your existing hardware, and makes the entire infrastructure more robust and reliable.
Also, because virtualization incorporates intelligent automatic management of system resources, it means that older hardware can contribute to the system as well. Nearly any server from recent years can become part of a virtual network, meaning you will need to spend less on replacing older hardware.
A virtual network looks somewhat different than a traditional one. One of the key changes is the addition of a set of software services called a hypervisor. (As in, one step beyond a supervisor.) The hypervisor is distributed software that runs at a low level on all the physical hardware, coordinating the virtual machines and ensuring their resources are being appropriately pooled.
The hypervisor then allows for other pieces of software to run which are also distributed throughout the virtual network. Features like the resource manager work directly with the hypervisor, watching traffic and distributing the load as necessary across every connected virtual machine.
This also allows for other distributed solutions, such as automatic consolidated backups. Your data can be automatically backed up to secure virtual servers, housed offsite if necessary, which are ready for damage control in the event of any sort of unexpected disaster. Keeping data in this fashion will also help you to meet various standards for data-handling, ensuring you don’t inadvertently run afoul of privacy regulations.
Two Become One
These two infrastructures, together, are what make virtualization services so powerful. You save money on hardware and overhead, while making more efficient use of your resources and gaining new abilities from your network as well. This is the power of virtualization.