What's Virtualisation, and why does your Business need it?

In practice, virtualisation in business terms usually means drastically improved configurations of IT systems, hardware and software. A rough analogy would be configuring a conventional server to do the work of five servers. This is best practice in business IT support, and virtualisation capacity is gaining a lot of traction in software and hardware design as it proves its value.

Virtualisation, explained

Virtualisation effectively means creating an artificial environment to host operating systems. This means that software is used to emulate the natural hardware environment of an operating system. An Apple Mac could be used to provide a virtual Windows environment, for example. This is what is meant by a "virtual machine".

Virtualisation takes this process a lot further and applies it to networks, servers and business systems. Virtualisation permits efficiencies which would otherwise simply not be possible in business IT systems. It is quite possible to improve a system whereby a group of single servers used for each business operation can be streamlined simply by virtualizing one server to do all the different jobs.

Not only does this save power and server costs, it also removes a range of steps and functions from business systems and improves the work flow dynamics dramatically. Turning "five servers into one server" equates to an 85% efficiency rate in server usage, compared to 15%.

Business efficiencies and virtualisation

You can see why the business logic of virtualisation is so hard to argue with – It starts by creating built-in cost efficiencies and therefore enforces operating efficiencies. Virtualisation also allows a single stream approach to IT administration which is wholly cost efficient and reduces real time demand on IT support services.

Virtualisation has also come along and a very opportune time for businesses. The vast menagerie of mobile apps coming on the market has produced almost unbelievable system clutter. Many of these apps are extremely useful business tools, in fact some of them are indispensable, but managing an IT system for such diverse software is to put it mildly a mixed blessing.

Virtual systems allow customization of business systems on an unprecedented scale. This means that the ever increasing number of apps can be kept under control, streamlined and properly configured within any business environment. It also allows businesses to conduct quality control tests and monitor new apps, which is a great way to save time and money on administration and IT services and simultaneously avoids some of the true turkeys which are showing up in the apps market.

Perhaps the single most important factor in virtualisation is that virtualisation is fully scalable. Whatever the size of your business, virtualisation can provide immediate cost-benefits to scale, and build an inherent expandability into your system from day one. Compare this to the laborious and expensive process of tinkering with systems to accommodate new apps and software and trying to keep single stream business administration operational, and you can see the natural advantages.

Virtualisation is in its infancy. The potential for development of virtualisation into a truly efficient, all-purpose methodology for dealing with millions of different applications and software is effectively unlimited. If you're looking for best practice IT management for your business, explore the possibilities of virtualisation for your system.

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