Imagine that you have three servers: one for your emails, one for your customer database and another to host your website. Each of these servers is running at only 15 percent capacity. In a traditional set-up with x86 servers, there’s no way to use the remaining 85 percent for a different purpose. One server means one function. And if, for example, you wanted to add a server for your applications, you’d need to buy new hardware to house it.
Virtualisation makes it possible to combine your servers and allocate resources to minimise wastage and duplication. By moving beyond the physical constraints of conventional servers, virtualisation allows you to save time, money and space while boosting server performance. Read on to learn more about its pros and cons.
Every dollar counts
Virtualisation works by consolidating your physical resources into one virtual environment that is capable of running several operating systems and applications where once it was only possible to run one or two. As a result, businesses of all sizes can reduce their capital expenditure by negating the need to purchase new hardware. Once virtual servers are operational, they also require less maintenance and draw less power, enabling businesses to cut operational expenses.
For some businesses, the higher up-front cost of virtualisation might be discouraging. Indeed, virtualisation is best seen as a long-term investment – one that, according to HP, usually pays itself off in 12 months and reduces ongoing operational expenditure by 50 percent
More space and more power
A recent study by HP of customers using its virtualisation solutions found that they experienced an 80 percent reduction in unplanned downtime and a 57 percent increase in productivity. Similar research by Gartner showed that virtualisation led to an 80 percent increase in the use of server resources.
By allowing you to access the computational power of servers you already own, virtualisation provides you with better performance without requiring any additional space. The chief drawback is that not all servers and applications are virtualisation-ready. Some licences, for example, prohibit the use of certain applications in virtual environments.
Making a speedy recovery
IT administrators dread the thought of servers crashing – but it does happen, and it’s important to be prepared. With virtualisation, you can create what’s known as a ‘golden image’ – a cloned template of your server infrastructure that can be used to relaunch it in the event of an unexpected disaster. This allows you to reduce recovery time from days to mere hours.
Given the benefits of virtualisation, it’s no surprise that 70 percent of existing x86 servers have been virtualised already. It can seem like an intimidating process, but with the right solution – like HP’s Converged Storage – you’ll be enjoying reduced costs, better disaster recovery and increased performance in no time.