A decade ago, information technology (IT) was often a thorn in the side of business owners and operators. Now, the changing face of business means IT is a competitive differentiator regardless of market or sector. The age of on-premise servers is passing away as more growing businesses rely on the benefits of data center virtualization.
Organizations that used to survive with old desktops and a server in the closet running Windows Exchange and QuickBooks are now fully mobile, always connected, and cloud native. It isn’t enough anymore to have a technology footprint that simply works for the business.
Business success and future growth are reliant on a strong technological foundation. Part of this digital revolution was made possible through virtualization.
What is Virtualization?
Virtualization is when software is used to turn a single physical server into many virtualized, or software-based, servers. Virtualization makes it possible for businesses to run multiple applications in multiple environments on the same physical server.
In the past, for example, if you had four applications each needing four gigs of memory and 16 gigs of disk space, you would need four different servers with these specifications.
Now, a single server with 16 gigs of memory and 64 gigs of disk space can be divided up or virtualized, to accommodate all four applications, each in their own environment.
The Benefits of a Virtual Data Center (VDC)
Just as individual servers can be virtualized, so too can entire data centers. In a virtualized data center, entire fleets of physical servers or cloud resources can be virtualized to give businesses better technology with scores of new benefits.
While there are some instances where having a physical server or data center makes sense, a growing number of use cases slot in nicely to a virtual data center.
Here are five key benefits of data center virtualization for your business.
1. Superior Return on Investment (ROI)
Virtualization technology exists to maximize the resources available in a physical machine.
Much like a single server utilizing virtualization to operate four (or more) virtual machines, a virtual data center delivers the same resource efficiency. As a result, a virtual data center delivers the resources you require (and a little room to grow) without the burden of paying for unused hardware, connectivity, or electricity.
The return on investment benefit for using a virtual data center is significantly greater than owning and managing your own racks of servers.
2. Reduced Cost for Management and Maintenance
Resource allocation in virtual servers is made more efficient through virtualization, reducing the cost of managing and maintaining those servers.
Removing the cost burden of physical space, security, power, and connectivity, as well as server and network administrators, adds to the cost savings.
In many cases, virtual data centers are provided as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), meaning that everything below the operating system is handled by someone else entirely. This means your team can focus on core competencies instead of managing a data center.
3. Ease of Operation
Another benefit of data center virtualization is management from a single pane of glass application.
This means that provisioning new servers, making and restoring backups, handling inventory counts, and device discoverability are all simplified and streamlined.
For example, your IT team can provide software updates or provision new instances with a few clicks instead of having to start with a physical machine and work from there.
4. Improved Security
Virtualized servers provide security and faster reprovisioning not always available with a physical data center.
For example, when using physical hardware, an interruption or catastrophic events like a flood or broken power supply can take hours or days to fix. With a virtualized data center, an image of the affected machine can be reprovisioned on a new virtual machine with a few mouse clicks.
Additionally, because servers are virtualized, your team is unlikely to be responsible for the literal locks, gates, and fences that are at the start of good security in a physical data center.
With IT security being in the best interest of every organization regardless of the market, the peace of mind that comes with a virtual data center is another benefit worth considering.
5. Agility and Flexibility
A virtualized data center gives companies of all sizes perhaps the most precious trait in business: the ability to move quickly, also known as IT agility. This agility and flexibility is the difference between being stuck in place and moving forward for many enterprises.
Here are a few examples showing the benefits of agility and flexibility by using data center virtualization:
- Capital expenditures on servers that will soon be obsolete are shifted to OpEx and regularly updated technology.
- A new location can come online in a matter of minutes with a virtual data center compared to the lengthy process of standing up a new data center.
- Unused resources and servers can be redacted in moments, no reprovisioning or recycling required.
A virtual data center is an asset, not a drag on operations and the balance sheet.
Technology is shifting for everyone. From individual users to global enterprises, new possibilities are reshaping how the world works. Virtualization delivers benefits that are proven over time and relevant to almost every business in the world.
Evaluating a Virtual Data Center for Your Business
Understanding the benefits of a virtual data center should tempt you to explore how this technology can impact your own business. In doing so, where you are starting from is a critical part of the consideration.
- Do you have a large physical footprint right now when it comes to servers and storage?
- Are you already adopting virtual and cloud technologies such as VMware?
- Are you only starting to explore how your infrastructure might grow over time and exploring options?
Regardless of where you are in your consideration of virtualization technology or a virtual data center, our team at Liquid Web is here to help. The Most Helpful Humans in Hosting® would be happy to help you explore the right solution for your business.
Contact us now to start a conversation around the power of a virtual data center.
Struggling to Scale Your On-Premise Infrastructure? Download Our White Paper to Find Out How Hosted Private Cloud Positions SMBs for IT Efficiency and Growth.
About the AuthorMore Content by Jake Fellows