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.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010Citrix’s CMO demos desktop virtualization on the iPad Video: Wes Wasson runs Windows on his iPad in a demo of Citrix desktop virtualization and explains why the new version of XenDesktop 4 makes life easier for IT departments
Tuesday, August 31, 2010VMware disses bare-metal desktop hypervisors VMware claims it doesn't need to deliver on its promise of a bare-metal desktop hypervisor, but says that if it does choose to release a so-called Type 1 client hypervisor it would be better than Citrix's
Tuesday, August 31, 2010Cutting back to get ahead A survey questioned nearly 300 IT leaders about the technologies they plan to focus on in the coming year. Nearly half indicated they were researching cloud computing services and network virtualization
Monday, August 30, 2010Citrix buys VMLogix ahead of VMworld 2010 The acquisition is part of a bigger push to address vendor lock-in and offer more self-service tools. The news came just prior to the start of the VMworld 2010 in San Francisco
Monday, August 30, 2010EMC targets FISMA compliance in cloud networks The movement of virtual machines threatens regulatory compliance, but the company is trying to solve that issue. EMC will preview its new technology at this week's VMworld 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010Citrix exec on the VMLogix acquisition VIDEO Citrix’s CMO explains what the VMLogix acquisition means for customers and what to expect from Citrix going forward in a Q&A at IT World Canada
Thursday, August 26, 2010Citrix targets laptop security with new XenDesktop Citrix's next version of XenDesktop will automatically encrypt corporate data on employee-owned laptops and include a bare-metal client hypervisor
Tuesday, August 24, 2010Ottawa firm brings VM monitoring to end users Ahead of next week’s VMworld 2010 conference, Embotics has rolled out V-Commander 3.6, an updated version of its VM management software. The highlight includes a self-service function that will let individual business units keep tabs on the VMs that matter to them
Monday, August 23, 2010Top 5 network management investments To keep up with all the changes in modern networks, IT teams need to be more rigorous about adopting standard processes, and they need management software to make sure the processes are executed consistently and automatically
Monday, August 23, 2010Microsoft won't showcase Hyper-V at VMworld Find out about Microsoft's preparations ahead of next week's VMware conference in San Francisco
Monday, August 16, 2010Microsoft vs. VMware: Who's better at disaster recovery? Microsoft disputes criticism that it lacks critical recovery features. Debate has broken out over this topic since the Burton Group declared that Microsoft's Hyper-V is not enterprise-ready because it lacks a specific feature found in both the VMware and Citrix hypervisors
Monday, August 16, 2010Oracle, Amazon offer new ways to run Linux from afar Users can run Linux on thin clients or in the cloud. Amazon will start offering the new operating systems by the end of the year
Friday, August 13, 2010How to build solid, reliable networks Gigabit fibre or 10 G, Fibre Channel or iSCSi, networking hosts and Power over Ethernet: A guide to best practices for making sure the network isn't your organization's weak point
Thursday, August 12, 2010CA acquires cloud consulting company 4Base CA argues that moving to the cloud will be harder than cloud vendors suggest. Buying 4Base should help customers implement the cloud
Tuesday, August 03, 2010Microsoft's 2010 software line-up most "monolithic" in years The company's software suite presents the "most complicated lock-in decision in years," according to the Burton Group. "If you go forward with all of the 2010 products you will be a Microsoft shop for the foreseeable future," says one analyst
Wednesday, July 28, 2010Shrink your IT infrastructure costs Save your money with these 10 tips from Gartner. According to the research firm, 60 per cent of the IT budget goes to IT infrastructure and operations so why not cut costs where it really counts?
Friday, July 23, 2010Virtual stall: What it is and why you have it OPINION Embotics president Jay Litkey's take on why virtualization projects hit the wall -- and why it's a bigger problem than VM sprawl
Thursday, July 22, 2010Network automation doesn’t mean zero visibility Automating daily tasks is not about giving up control. It just means removing the human error that can happen with any change to the network, be it deploying new services or technologies like virtualization. EMA and Infoblox discuss
Monday, July 19, 2010Xiotech announces new array, management software Emprise 9000 array comes with thin provisioning, and scales from two to 12 controllers
Monday, July 19, 2010VMware says: Windows still matters … sort of Virtualization diminishes importance of operating systems, VMware says. CEO Paul Maritz said OSes are having their jobs stolen by virtualization and open development frameworks
Monday, July 12, 2010Microsoft releases Azure cloud platform appliance Microsoft offers the Azure platform software packaged with a set of servers for internal data centre use
Monday, July 12, 2010VMware: no 'timeline' for release of client hypervisor Announced in 2008, VMware's bare-metal desktop hypervisor is nowhere to be seen. Citrix beat VMware to the market in May with XenClient
Monday, July 12, 2010Five tips for managing Microsoft licencing costs No single article can cover everything you need to know about Microsoft licenses. But here are five tips that could save your business money when it comes time to upgrade or purchase new Microsoft software
Monday, July 05, 2010VMware co-founder tackles virtualization at Cisco Cisco CTO Ed Bugnion was one of five VMware founders. He left the company in 2004, the same year it was acquired by EMC
Tuesday, June 29, 2010New HP offerings consolidate, protect data centres FcoE module removes need for two adapters to allow physical and virtual servers to access networking and storage resources. Also, more TippingPoint products