Computer virtualization has been around for many years and the technology was traditionally held only by large enterprises. Virtualization is essentially a simulated computer. These simulated computers run on the same server hardware that a single server software would normally run but due to the resource sharing, multiple servers can run on the same hardware. Instead of buying two physical servers at say $5000, we buy one and add some extra memory and additional CPU’s and only have to buy the license for the second server to run at half the cost. As time goes on and servers have to be replaced due to end of support life, all that would be needed is new licenses for new operating systems.
Virtualization can also be done with workstations. We place a small device known as “a client” on the desk for the user. Then we attach a mouse, monitor and keyboard to the client. Thin or zero clients typically have no moving parts to wear out and can last many years beyond a typical PC. The user’s computer desktop is actually a virtual workstation that they log into through the client. As time goes on, the user keeps the same client and we install a new workstation, on the server, for them to log into. The cost is only the cost to license the install. This also allows the user to work from a phone or a home computer allowing for a much more flexible work environment.
Systems backup and restore complications are erased. With a physical server we could never restore a Dell installation to HP hardware and expect stable results. Virtualization has changed all that. With proper licensing we can restore systems from one piece of hardware to another without worrying about the hardware manufacture architecture. We also have the ability to move servers to the cloud. Imagine the nightmare scenario of total building destruction. We can have your servers running, in the cloud or loaner server, in minutes/hours instead of weeks.
We use Veeam Backup and Replication to perform our VM and physical backups. One of the big advantages is that we can apply a restore to another virtual server to be absolutely sure we can restore in the event of a failure. You simply can’t do that with a physical server because you would have to destroy it in the process and what happens if it fails?
We have put together a complete package that a small business can easily afford and will allow for all the protection that a large enterprise would enjoy, but with a scaled down price to match your scaled down environment. Of course, all this can be managed by us remotely. If you’re at the point where you think you need new hardware, now is the time to look at virtualization. If you’re not there yet, consider the fact that Windows 7 is no longer supported by Microsoft. In 2020 several other operating systems will be obsolete, including the popular Windows Server 2008. Now is the time to start to plan that upgrade and consider moving to a virtual environment.