A virtual server primarily helps to decouple the software from the hardware. Once the software and hardware become independent entities, it becomes possible to house several server environments on a single piece of server hardware. Each server environment, also referred to as virtual machine, is a self-contained entity. The prominent benefit of server virtualization is that it helps us to utilize our computing resources in a better manner. In the following paragraphs, we shall delve out some more benefits of a virtual server as well as try to dispel the drawbacks.
Some outstanding benefits of sever virtualization
- Proper hardware utilization- On an average, distributed servers are able to use only 20 to 25 percent of the computing capacity of the resources. Server virtualization boosts up hardware utilization to up to 65 to 85 percent. Proper resource utilization means that with lesser number of equipments, you can work more efficiently. Additionally, IT, hardware and maintenance costs are dramatically reduced. Lesser amount of space is needed, and energy requirements also decrease significantly.
- Scalable flexibility- When hardware and software work independently, you can easily amend, transform or upgrade either of them without affecting the functioning of the other. You can not only use different types of operating systems and applications, but you can also effortlessly migrate to newer versions, programs and environments. Moreover, due to the presence of virtual server, disaster recovery process becomes relatively easier.
- Easy development and implementation- Yet another benefit of server virtualization is that it speeds up the development and implementation process. The performance of different applications and operating systems can easily be tested and compared without destabilizing the system that is currently in use.
- Enhanced security- Virtual servers provide an exceptionally safe and secure environment for data processing and storage. Unlike isolated systems where the security of several units have to be managed, in the case of virtual servers and machines, only one system has to be made infallible.
Drawbacks of virtual server and remedies to drive them away
- High probability of physical failures- With the addition of a virtual server, even a simple system becomes quite complex. As the complexity of the system increases, the probability of physical failure also escalates. There are a number of failsafe methods available to reduce the possibility of system failure. For instance, you can use methodologies like clustering or use applications as Continuous Data Protection solution. Investment in redundant hardware is also a good option. Before implementing anyone of the suggested methodologies, in-depth root cause analysis of the problem is essential. The analysis will help you find out and use the most feasible solution.
- Requirement of new tools and skills- Server virtualization is not as easy as it appears on the surface. In a virtual environment, even legacy software applications start behaving differently. Often, minor deficiencies like lesser RAM, fewer CPUs, incompatible applications, inappropriate hard disks, and so forth create incurable problems. The best way to overcome such troublesome situations is to acquire apposite virtual environment management tools and skills. With their help, you can easily ensure that your virtual server consistently provides you superlative services.
- Virtual sprawl- Virtual server management is quite intricate and cumbersome, and for proper management well-trained and experienced administrators are needed. On the contrary, it is extremely easy to add new virtual servers and machines. If you continue to add unneeded virtual machines, you simply waste the precious resources of the host server. You would also have to hire administrators for the upkeep of the expanded virtual system. By preventing the unneeded virtual sprawl, you can easily cut down the costs.
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