Virtualization is the abstraction of computer resources; the creation of a logical representation of things such as servers, storage and network resources, rather than the actual things themselves. Server consolidation is the most common application of virtualization technology. Other capabilities include storage consolidation, network consolidation and desktop virtualization; a client/server approach by which multiple users maintain individualized desktops on a single server.
Every day, we are becoming increasingly an online community both in our personal and professional lives. We are turning to online solutions more and more because of the convenience and flexibility they provide. This is why virtualization has become such a popular technology option for Canadian organizations in many industries.
What is virtualization?
Virtualization is a computer-based technology that enables the development of a virtual version of a computer element that would traditional exists as a physical device. In this sense, things such as storage, hardware, and operating systems exist virtually over the Internet, making it accessible online from remote locations through user access.
Overall, virtualization is one component of the information technology trend that moving more and more functionality online, allowing the IT department to be more effectively managed and efficiently used. Therefore, virtualization is a centralizing movement that allows companies to properly scale use and manage workloads from anywhere in the world.
Types of virtualization
Virtualization has expanded to the point where almost every part of information technology can be virtualized and accessed online. Some of the most commonly used information technology components that are used as part of virtualization include:
- Hardware: This refers to the development of virtual computer that functions in the same way as a traditional operating system or computer.
- Software: This refers to the host of virtual software environments that are housed outside of your computer operating system.
- Desktop: With this set-up, users access the virtual computer via an Internet connection and control another computer that is located in another physical location.
- Storage: This refers to the process of housing data and information in a remote location online.
- Data: The refers to presenting data as an independent agent of a database structure and system
- Network: This is the creation of networks that exist outside of a company’s physical space. Examples include the Internet, and wide area networks that connect office branches online.
Other IT components that are commonly virtualized and widely used as part of a company’s IT strategy:
- Wide Area Networks
- Local Area Networks
The benefits of virtualization
Virtualization has been widely adopted as an information technology strategy by many Canadian organizations because of the many benefits it offers. They include:
- A reduction in hardware and software costs within your company
- The ability to quickly and easily configure your companies server
- The ability to streamline maintenance and system updates
- The ability to redeploy and reuse hardware
- The ability to create workload balance for company servers
- The ability to develop strategic and cost effective business processes
- Flexibility in terms of internal infrastructure step and the ability to alter your set up to meet the growing needs of your organization.
- The ability to leverage business resources within an increasingly online business environment
While these are some of the most recognizable benefits to using virtualization within your organization, there is also another, often overlooked benefit that can have a major impact your company. Virtualization takes some pressure off of your employees, especially within the IT department.
In this sense, it can free up time and energy that can then be used by employees to focus on other important functions, projects and tasks that can help to improve overall organizational performance.
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