It is said that change is the only constant. In spite of significant developments in the field of virtualization, it is observed that majority of the businesses are stuck with traditional dedicated servers. The status quo in these organizations can be largely attributed to inertia or resistance to change.

It is a common belief that dedicated servers should be preferred over other resources for raw compute power. Similarly there is a common belief that dedicated servers are ideal for storage of mission critical data. There are multiple attributes to prove that virtualization is far better than legacy options. 


Optimizes Capital Expenditure

Dedicated servers need to be backed by data center facilities, costly hardware, cables, and technical manpower among others. Running of a dedicated infrastructure also involves expenditure for security, power, cooling, maintenance, and bandwidth. These costs are always expected to rise with addition of new applications. On the contrary, virtualization facilitates server consolidation and enables running of multiple applications with a single standalone server.

It would be advisable to make sure that virtual servers are uniformly dispersed across all dedicated servers for prevention of a single server being overloaded. You also need to confirm that all resources of existing servers are optimally used before allocation of a new server.

Reduces Carbon Footprint

Virtualization is a green technology. It not only reduces dependability on non-renewable sources of energy, but also enables significant reduction of energy bills. In order to reduce your carbon footprint, you need to minimize number of servers, redundant resources, and relook at your choice of hardware and replace components by energy efficient alternatives. Software intensive high density systems should also be deployed wherever it is feasible.

Adoption of security screens, load balancers, and virtual applications for firewalls, is also recommended for mitigation of carbon footprint. Virtual appliances should always be preferred over hardware equipment for greater cost to benefit ratio.

Smart Utilization of Hardware Resources

Although dedicated servers facilitate excellent resource availability, it is found that there is under-utilization of space with only about 40 percent of total capacity utilization. It is argued that the unutilized resource can facilitate management of traffic spikes by acting as buffer.

By adopting server virtualization, you can create number of virtual servers by using a single physical server. These virtual servers are able to provide enough space for dealing with challenges of traffic surges. You can combine resources of virtual servers to facilitate easy accommodation of traffic spikes in a single virtual server.

Server virtualization makes it possible to consume as high as 80 percent of available resources that is almost double resource utilization in comparison with dedicated server.


On-Demand Resource Provisioning

Website owners should focus on their core business competencies rather than worrying about resource availability and other routine server related issues. Virtualization of servers frees you from concerns of resource availability, since additional resources can be instantly provided in the event of an upsurge in demand.

In a dedicated server environment, addition of new websites or deployment of new applications can involve time consuming and complex tasks. Deployment of a new dedicated server needs resolution of dependencies, securing and optimizing requirements, service installation, and so forth.

Virtualization obviates all such intricate tasks by enabling use of server templates. You can instantly deploy new virtual servers in ten seconds flat by leveraging pre-optimized, pre-configured, and pre-secured server images. Deployment of a new application in a virtualized environment is a breeze, since all you need to do is choose the ‘deploy’ option be choosing required template.

You can mitigate post deployment setup time by making sure that server images are updated in time. This can be done by timely execution of upgrading security patches, application upgrades and OS updates to name a few. You can void the complexity of updating the system software after you have deployed virtual server.

Freedom From Vendor Lock-In

It is common practice to choose shared or VPS hosting as an entry level option for launching new websites. Greater resources including better hardware or cloud solutions may become necessary after there is a considerable growth in business. Usually, website owners need to migrate to other service providers or higher plans to acquire greater capabilities. This can pose indomitable challenges due to hardware intensive service offered by service providers.

These issues can be dealt with without any hassles of vendor lock-in by adopting virtualization. Virtual servers can be instantly ported to any service provider across any global location provided the virtualization platform offers compatibility with availability of layer of abstraction over the hardware.

Open source virtualization applications should always be preferred to obviate problems of vendor lock-in.

Superior Cost Efficiency and Assured Availability

Every website owner strives to reduce downtime. In a dedicated server setup better website availability is possible only by deploying redundant dedicated servers, which can be financially prohibitive. Virtualization allows automatic shift to a virtual server in the event of failure of a physical server. The built-in ability for such migration can bring back the services to normalcy within a span of ten seconds.

Superior availability of website can be guaranteed by providing sufficient spare resources for accommodating entire gamut of virtual servers within a physical server to support the server cluster.


Efficient Disaster Recovery Reduces Downtime

One needs to be prepared to handle the unexpected events that force your websites to face prolonged absenteeism from the World Wide Web causing huge loss of revenues. The most trusted and time tested option to prevent downtime due to catastrophic events is to implement robust Disaster Recovery Planning, which guarantee restoration of availability within few minutes.

Virtualization helps expedite the process of Disaster Recovery. Virtualized environment ensures backup of the entire server image that facilitates restoring of server functions without need for reconfiguration.

Failure to implement timely backup is a common occurrence on account of excessive server load, software conflicts, or insufficient disk space. This underlines the need to keep a close track of all backup systems. Virtual machines provide redundancy of resources. These are frequently being restored in test nodes to verify that the backup process is running smoothly to and ready handle disasters.

Cost Saving Through Application Isolation

Deployment of applications is a costly proposition in a dedicated server environment if there is a need to maintain server isolation. Users need to deploy one application per dedicated server. This can lead to a situation where large server farms are required to be maintained for implementation of several applications.

Isolation of application is easily implemented in a virtualized environment without need for multiple physical servers. You can create as many virtual servers as desired by using a single dedicated server for application isolation.

Server virtualization is a matured technology to enable adoption in large number of business to support their IT infrastructures. Availability of custom designed virtualization solutions has facilitated its use in diverse business verticals. 


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