December 31, 2008
The Virtual Machine (VM) Server Impact? Big Time savings for your business!
How does the VM Server market impact you and your business? To be direct, it saves you money in so many ways! You have no choice but to look more closely at this solution, now that it has proven itself in the marketplace.
So you might be asking, what is a VM server? A Virtual Server is basically an aggregation of hardware, set up into multiple server instances with a portion of the hardware allocated for each instance. Instead of having 4 pieces of underutilized hardware to accomodate 4 server roles, each consuming its own electricity and requiring its own hardware and maintenance steps, you can have all 4 server roles running on a single piece of hardware, but appear and operate like 4 dedicated servers. Hence the term "virtual".
VM does not require you to abandon your current Operating System (Linux vs. Microsoft), database, or software choices. VM provides virtual instances of hardware, and the operating system works as it does in a dedicated server environment. You can utilize all storage solutions (SAN, NAS, etc.) and backup solutions that you have used with your dedicated server. Even networking is virtualized - each virtual instance has its own IP address scheme like a dedicated server.
How does this save you money?
Electricity: Servers consume gobs of electricity, and if you can reduce your server hardware requirements by 60-70% by utilizing VM architecture, your electricity bill will also shrink.
Space: Servers take up space in racks, shelves, or whatever else. This might not be a big deal if you have your own data center, but many groups colocate, or host their servers at an offsite data center. This colocated rack space is costly. Reducing your rackspace requirements by 60-70% will save you money on colocation costs.
Air Conditioning: Same rules as with electricity. Server hardware gets very HOT.
Implementation: VM server instances can be prebuilt and replicated rapidly. One of the biggest headaches of a traditional server approach is rebuilding from scratch and reloading the operating system. In comparison, prebuilt VM instances can be implemented in a matter of minutes, saving hours in implementation and reducing downtime. If you use 3rd party technology resources to do this work, it can save you a bundle.
Upgrades: VM server architecture has been designed for easy migration from one VM server to another. If you server role becomes underpowered, you can simply add a more powerful VM server to your VM environment and migrate the current server instance to the new, more powerful VM server. In some configurations, this can be done without taking the environment offline. This is a very powerful tool, saves on productivity costs, and shrinks 3rd party tech support costs.
Hosting is an option: Instead of purchasing your own VM hardware, virtualization allows for the hosting of your server needs. Essentially, you can host the server space for a bunch less than it would cost to colocate or purchase and manage your own server hardware.
There are several solutions out there for virtual environments. The one we recommend is the solution from VMWare. Citrix also has a solution called XenServer
ComputerPerson can assist you with the implementation of your own VM Server environment, or if you are considering the VM hosting option, we just released our own hosted VM Server solution, which combines the best in data center and hardware standards.