Virtualization is the simulation of hardware, software, storage or network resources with the goal of reducing operating costs while prolonging technology lifecycles.

Our team has helped many small business clients makes sense of virtualization. Regardless of your current technology lifecycle phase, virtualization techniques can work in your environment. By reducing the role of hardware to a hosting function, a proper virtual environment can be a critical part of any disaster plan. In addition, virtualization can help prolong the life of your environment by eliminating legacy or under-performing devices.

Hardware Virtualization

Computer hardware virtualization (or hardware virtualization) is the virtualization of computers or operating systems. The software that controlled virtualization was called a “control program,” but nowadays the terms “hypervisor” or “virtual machine” are preferred.

Any virtualization will need a host or multiple hosts to house digital assets depending on the needs of the business. A properly configured virtual host can run several critical services with no impact on performance. Common virtualization candidates are older Windows Servers running domain controllers or Active Directory functions, file servers, application servers, and even on-premise email servers.

Server Consolidation

Using virtual hosts to save old servers

Server consolidation is an efficient way to utilize resources while cutting unnecessary costs. The number of servers or locations can be reduced along with software licenses or points of management. Using server virtualization the details of server resources can be simplified while still optimizing resource sharing. Software improvements can increase performance, availability and reliability.

Consolidating servers can also have the added benefit of reducing energy consumption. A typical server runs at 425 Watts and virtualization estimates an average server consolidation ratio of 10:1.

Thin Clients and Use Cases

Thin clients are smaller, cost-effective machines that run off of a host server’s delegated resources. One powerful server can be used to run several thin client terminals that offer the graphical user interface and software experience that your employee are used to. By utilizing desktop virtualization, software management is simplified and the number of licenses needed can be reduced. Thin clients are very secure and easy to manage, preventing the use of unauthorized software and simplifying data backup as well.

Workstation Reduction

The days of a 1:1 ratio for users to computers is far behind us. Today’s modern worker has multiple input points to perform critical tasks. The need for each user to have a dedicated workstation is no longer a requirement for most business teams. Utilizing thin clients, the cost and complexity of adding new workstations can be dramatically reduced. Users still get the desktop computing experience they know while the resources spent on purchasing, powering and maintaining those units are cut.

Remote Workers

With the introduction of high-speed internet connections remote users can now utilize the internet to connect securely to remote resources using think clients, eliminating in many cases the need for expensive VPN and firewall devices and licensing. Because all the work performed by the user is computed on the host environment, no assets leave the security of the host network.

Satellite / Branch Offices

Opening a new office can be expensive and taxing. With thin clients in place that same setup can be extremely simple. Place thin clients where normal workstations would be present, provide a fast and reliable internet connection back to the host and you have completed the process. No need to have a separate server for branch office functions. Reduce the security risks of having data stored in multiple locations. Ensure your users’ work is safe and secure back at the host environment.

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