The advantages of server virtualisation

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Making a business case for increased virtualisation across your server deployment has never been more important.

The one server, one application model is no longer sufficiently efficient, and virtualisation is not just for big businesses.

With the arrival of Microsoft's Windows Server 2012 and the continued development of other virtual server platforms such as those from VMware, coupled with low cost blade servers from companies such as Dell, any size of business can now take full advantage of what virtualisation can offer.

In a white paper on demystifying server virtualisation, Symantec advises: "Implementing protected virtualisation in a business is not difficult or expensive.

"Many businesses are successfully deploying virtual environments and benefiting from them. These businesses are saving money, enjoying increased flexibility for growth, and finding it easier to maintain their overall IT infrastructure."

Moving to a virtual server structure offers a number of key advantages that include:

  • Reduced IT management time. Virtual server management is now highly efficient, with a number of tools available that enable routine tasks such as security patches to be implemented with ease.
  • Improvements in application deployment and efficiency. As your business grows, a new virtual machine can easily be created to host any new applications your company needs to remain profitable and efficient as its market sector changes.
  • Data backup and recovery become robust and reliable. Virtualisation offers an integrated approach to the storage, management and deployment of data.
  • On-site and cloud-based applications and data storage can be managed as an integrated whole. A hybrid approach to IT management is becoming increasingly popular, and a blend of the advantages of on-site and cloud-based virtual systems is providing more flexibility in the management of servers.
  • Fast reactions to changing business needs. Virtualisation can make it easier to respond to changes in the demands on data management as a company's market changes. New virtual machines can be set up in minutes.
  • Reductions of capital costs. Single application server deployments are simply not efficient, and virtualisation makes it possible to reduce the number of new server purchases.

A VMware white paper on the subject concludes: "Server utilisation and consolidation is a primary benefit of virtualisation. However, virtualisation can also help IT departments spend less time on routine administrative tasks, enabling them to be more responsive to business needs."