Server Virtualization has gained popularity in the last few years and continues to be the new information technology trend. We see that firms and business companies are paying attention to this new trend and even investing in it.
One may wonder the benefits due to which server virtualization has gained this sudden popularity and interest of investors. Wecategorize the advantages in two broad types:
- 1.Financial Benefits (For example, reduction of server maintenance costs. This plays an important role in the investment phase as it is easier to quantify and weigh.)
- 2.Intangible Benefits (For example, flexibility, dependability, etc. These constitute the long-term benefits of server virtualization.)
Server virtualization projects consolidate the servers by reducing the number of total servers. With the recent advancement in technology, a consolidation ratio of 30:1 is easily achievable. This helps large firms to reduce their hundreds of servers to very few by hosting a lot of virtual machines. In addition to reducing the price of extra servers, cost of floor spacing, power consumption and server licenses is also reduced. These benefits are latent in the sense that they are added only under certain circumstances. By the same rule, while the impressive reduction in power consumption may reduce your overall expenditure but the IT Department may not be interested in these savings as they are not charged to them. Also by reducing the number of servers, less licenses would be needed thereby reducing the cost of server licenses. However, it is important to keep in mind that these reduction in costs are latent because the already paid license contracts won’t be returned. Nevertheless, the client would be able to surge the number of additional applications in the same price with no additional cost.
Technically assets are classified into three broad categories that included financial benefits, tangible benefits,and intangible benefits. Financial benefits include cash, stocks, shares, etc. Tangible benefits contain assets that can be touched or are physically present such as buildings, offices, plants, etc. Lastly, the intangible benefits include all the other assets like for instance patents, processes and so on. For server virtualization, we consider the financial advantages and the intangible benefits only. We have already mentioned the financial reduction in overall costs and so now we will discuss various intangible cons of server virtualization.
As we see an increase in investment in server virtualization, we wonder why the sudden increase in interest in this new trend. Well, one of the most significant features that attract attention to server virtualization is its flexibility. Server virtualization makes the whole process of installing new operating systems swift and smooth because there is no need to procure a new server every time you opt for installment. This, in turn, reciprocates into more time for the IT department that they can utilize to respond to business line requests in lesser time. This way they can quickly adapt their infrastructure to the new marketing needs. It is indeed an important benefit that cannot be quantified.
Before server virtualization, the only way to improve the dependability of a system was to buy a high availability cluster. They cost a hefty sum of money and were complex to maintain and had to be fully certified by the server vendor in order to get full support. Clearly, that was not an easy or cost-effective approach and didn’t work for many applications either. This is where virtualization brought an entirely different approach. The protection could be delivered at the level of virtual machines rather than the applications. This makes it simple to implement and the application-agnostic tech made it possible to improve the dependability of all the servers owned by a single firm. This works wonders in cases of system failures and planned outages.
These days you cannot launch an application without accurately testing it on different operating systems. For that, you would require a system that is identical to the production system on which the combination of application will run. In cases of application testing, even a small difference will make the test unreliable and eventually the app won’t work. With the help of server virtualization, it is possible to take a copy of the production system and test your application on the said copy. This would save you the extra expense and trouble of getting a different production system copy each time and keeping it synchronized. This smoothens the pathway of virtualized test servers which improves not just the overall reliability of the tests but also its efficiency.
The new trend of server virtualization is definitely worth investing since it offers various financial and intangible benefits to the firm and companies. Although the significant reduction in expenses is itself enough to attract attention towards server virtualization, the intangible benefit works the best for firms that consider their IT infrastructure as a strategic resource to get ahead in the competition.