Virtualization refers to virtual, rather than actual, computing resources as defined by software. The main goal of this method is to streamline the relationship between software and hardware by transforming the way different computing workloads are handled. For example, most new computers come with multiple hard drive partitions, with each partition acting like a separate physical hard drive, even though it’s just one physical drive divided into separate logical storage blocks. In fact, there are many different computing resources that can be virtualized.
#1. Hardware Virtualization
In the world of business IT, hardware virtualization is the most common computing model. When virtualizing hardware, a single physical server machine is logically divided into multiple computing platforms.
In these cases, a virtual machine monitor, also known as a hypervisor, is embedded into the server, allowing one machine to function as multiple smaller machines handling different workloads. The main advantage of this approach is that it allows for more efficient use of the available hardware resources, which translates into reduced overheads and greater scalability.
#2. Application Virtualization
Before virtualization, software applications would run on the local machine, which would take care of all the computing work. Virtualized applications, however, run on a remote server, either through the internet or from an on-premises server.
For all intents and purposes, they function just like any application running on the local computer. However, because the remote server is really running the application, it takes care of the computing work. As such, only a cheap, barebones machine with internet connectivity, known as a thin client, is required to use the application itself.
#3. Network Virtualization
Network virtualization concerns the monitoring and management of an entire network of connected devices through a centralized platform, which is typically a web-based administrator’s console. Network virtualization can consolidate multiple servers, workstations and thin clients to simplify access controls, security monitoring and maintenance.
In other words, all network-attached devices may be administered as a single unit. This approach helps overcome the underlying complexities of the physical devices that make up the network to improve scalability and performance.
#4. Storage Virtualization
With digital data being one of the most important assets in the world of enterprise computing, it’s becoming more difficult to accommodate rapidly growing storage requirements. Storage virtualization pools together multiple storage devices, such as hard disks and network-attached storage (NAS) devices into a single logical storage block.
As is the case with other virtualization models, storage virtualization simplifies management and promotes scalability by effectively hiding the underlying complexity of the system.
#5. Desktop Virtualization
Also known as client virtualization, desktop virtualization is rapidly gaining ground in business computing environments. Before virtualization, an operating system and all the applications installed along with it ran from the local computer, as remains the case today in most home computing environments.
However, by virtualizing entire desktops, the operating system and all applications associated with it are hosted on a remote server and accessed through a thin client machine. This approach sports many benefits, including simplified management, more efficient use of hardware resources, and better security due to there being fewer potential attack vectors.
A growing business is a successful business, but a dated computing infrastructure can quickly end up holding it back. Virtualization offers unprecedented scalability, allowing you to increase your computing workloads without making any complicated and expensive modifications to your existing infrastructure.
Here at Truewater, we help small businesses build powerful, future-proof computing environments that take advantage of the very latest technology while reducing overheads in the process. Contact us today to find out how we can help get your business moving forward.