By now, you’ve probably heard about all the great things virtualization can provide. There are a number of options available that can help businesses both large and small. While it can’t solve every problem, it can provide significant benefits to your business and the way you manage IT resources.

Benefits and Considerations

Some of the benefits of virtualization include:
  • Control or eliminate application incompatibility
  • Expedited server & workstation provisioning/consolidation
  • Improved business continuity and recovery
  • Rapid return on investment
  • Reduced power and space requirements

Application Virtualization
The goal of application virtualization is to isolate applications from the underlying operating system while providing the same functionality and user experience as if the applications were actually installed. Some of the benefits gained from using this technology include centralized app management, fast deployment, simplification of upgrades, multiple versions of an app on the same machine, and maintaining the OS environment. Want to roll out the latest desktop operating system but still need to run old business apps that won’t work with the latest OS? Virtualization may provide a solution for you.

Machine Virtualization
Want to save on power costs, reduce space requirements and embrace the green movement? This is perhaps the most obvious benefit as the ability to run multiple virtual machines on the same physical machine requires less hardware and power consumption. Because of this increased hardware utilization, there’s also a greater return on investment.

With virtualization, the time to provision a new server or desktop is drastically reduced allowing faster deployment and recovery times. Load balancing, failover/redundancy, and scalability can also be quickly implemented and achieved economically. Additionally, the ability to capture and restore snapshots on the fly, not only allows for recovery options but also greater testing possibilities.

Quick Takeaway
There are many companies that now provide virtualization solutions including Citrix, Microsoft, and VMWare. There are also open source and no/low cost options available as well. However, they each have differences not only in how they accomplish the virtualization but in how they are implemented. The right product or mix of products should meet the needs of your business and be beneficial to your environment. Keep in mind that once you’ve determined which solution is right for your business, it will need to be managed and maintained like any other technology.