The businesses usually hesitate bringing a change to their already established IT environment. Ask them if they wish to virtualize, and they would say, “Why should we? Everything already up and running seems just perfect.” This is understandable completely. When the existing system takes care of day to day routine activities necessary for a business, why should a business care changing their working environment to something new just because it is more advanced.
However, there are instances when a business needs this transformation to let go of the old IT environment and switch to the better and more efficient one. On the same lines, if the existing IT system needs to be changed to a better one, the answer lies in ‘virtualization’ as the most efficient system of the time.
Why Virtualization? Because you no longer deal with hundreds of physical machines keeping your maintenance unit on the run. Rather, there is a centralized server with everything contained within, which can provide access to multiple users simultaneously through their handy endpoint devices. If there is a processing associated to these devices at the user’s side, these are termed ‘Thin Client’. If the complete processing is through the centralized server with the endpoint device acting as a mere interface, these are called ‘Zero Client’ devices.
So, when should an existing IT unit within a business be virtualized?
- When it is time for a major hardware refresh; which means replacing the old machines with new ones.
- When it is time for major Operating system migration.
- When it is time for your expensive license renewals.
- When your system security is on stake, and you need a more secured option with isolated access grant to employees.
- When you wish to improve availability and reduce downtime for your systems.
- When you want to improve and simplify applications and server management.
- When you want to have a better data and back-up protection.
If you look closely, all the above instances talk about one point in general: “Cost Savings”, which is the final prime motive for any business. Let us understand how does virtualization helps in saving money when you plan to invest fresh.
Reduced Investment On Hardware Refresh:
Suppose that you have a medium sized enterprise with 30 employees in total. For these 30 employees, having ONE centralized server with 30 individual interfaces is a better option rather than buying 30 physical machines in total. It directly targets the huge saving in the form of less maintenance, cheaper endpoint devices and less storage area to accommodate everything.
Reduced Number of Servers And Licenses:
Licensing on individual servers can be really hefty. Virtualization offers this benefit with a large/ infinite number of users granted access with a single server. All the data this way can be efficiently contained in reduced number of servers. When a major OS migration happens, the virtualized server is a good option to go with. This implies lesser number of licenses too.
Isolated And Secured User Access:
Zero Client endpoint devices provide an excellent choice for secured access. With a virtualized Zero Client system, there is no data stored at the user’s end. Everything resides on the server with individual virtual machines, to which the users can connect through their devices. This rules out any possibility of virus or malware threat being injected to the system on user’s behalf. Plus, every virtual machine stays isolated and immune to each other.
Better Business Continuity With Reduced Server Downtime:
It is easier to understand the virtualized environment as a system in which only the servers are to be maintained primarily. Thin clients demand very less maintenance and Zero Clients are practically maintenance free! Less maintenance boost up the server availability; which is critical for many run-time businesses and offers more production and sales eventually.
Reduce Investments On Server Management:
One maintenance personnel against the whole team of administrators worrying about the server maintenance is much better! This is what you directly gain with virtualization.
Easy and Reliable Data and Back-up Protection:
Forget about the cold sites that need you retrieving important business data from the tapes or other media, and spend your entire weekend dealing with the disaster recovery. Most of the advanced applications specific to virtualized environments can back-up and recover the data in a jiffy, with a few hours spent overall at maximum.