July 06, 2017 19:02
Published: August 03, 2016 17:34
Discussions around the server systems of a business can reduce even the most even-tempered people into a ball of anxiety and stress. Between the integrity of the hardware and the constant maintenance on the software, it’s enough to drive even the best IT guys a little batty.
Enter the “virtual” server. Don’t worry, it’s not as Arthur C. Clark as it sounds.
Basically, these things are very similar to the actual hardware-based servers you may be used to seeing in your network, with a few key differences. While virtual servers still require some hardware components to operate, there’s no longer the 1-to-1 ratio of software to hardware relationship that there used to be. Now, multiple “servers” can run on one piece of hardware, leading to more efficient computing overall.
Also, being as they are “virtual”, these servers have a gigantic advantage over their metal-stacked counterparts: mobility. A business can actually move these servers to a cloud-based provider with little more than a few keystrokes, affording them the ability to create redundancies in data backup, security, and accessibility that they may not be able to attain with the more traditional server networks.
All of that is great, but what does that do for your business, right?
Virtual servers afford organizations with the ability to save money in a number of ways. One is in the actual physical aspect of the network, everything from purchasing the servers themselves to the associated hardware, something that can easily run into the thousands of dollars or more.
A virtual server takes up less space on the network and strives to optimize the amount of space on the existing hardware it uses in order to perform its functions. It essentially does the same work in one-tenth the space on the network. Think scalpel versus samurai sword. And as your company grows, you can easily add more virtual servers onto the hardware that you already own, increasing the savings to you exponentially.
Staying ahead of the ever-upgrading nature of programs and networking is much easier on a virtual server, because everything from support to upgrades are much easier to manage. Not only that, but if you clone a virtual server into a “test.dev.” environment, you can actually test the installation and upgrading of new programs on the network without putting the entire network at risk. Pretty cool, right?
Also, this will relieve the burden on your company’s IT department. As large portions of virtual servers are maintained and managed by off-site providers, your own internal IT guys will not have as much on their plate, inevitably saving you the cost of labor and the risk of burnout. They can immediately respond to in-house emergencies and provide better support for everyday issues.
Last, but most certainly not least, your company can enjoy much greater security on virtual machines. From creating smaller infrastructures that are harder to hack to increasing the overall speed at which problems are dealt with, the speed at which malicious activity is dealt with across these networks is far superior to the older systems.