Virtual servers are primarily used for the purpose of server consolidation, which is running two or more virtual machines on a single physical system. Virtualization is an effective method to save money on hardware, maintenance, management and administration. Before you set out to take a plunge into server virtualization, it is essential to take into consideration the following 7 important facts and issues.
All virtual servers are not the same
It should be kept in mind that all virtual servers do not have that same performance and proficiency. Therefore, before selecting the software, it is advisable to conduct in-depth comparative analysis. The analysis will help you to find a virtual server exactly according to your unique requirements. For instance, if you’re intending to install 2 to 4 virtual machines, then a free or low-cost software application like Microsoft Virtual PC would be good enough. However, if you intention is to consolidate several severs, and at the same time, you need highest level of security and scalability, then you should opt for robust virtual severs as ESX Servers of VMWare.
Checkout the software licensing requirements
A majority of software vendors do not consider virtual machine to be different from a typical physical system. For this reason, software licenses become compulsory for each and every operating system and application that you run on your host computer or virtual machines. There are some software vendors who prohibit the use of software application in a virtual environment. Hence, prior to using the application, read the license terms and conditions carefully.
Ensure that the applications run well in virtual environment
Many applications do not run properly in the virtual environment. Some might not give optimal performance, while other might not utilize the power of the resources fully. To get maximum benefits of server virtualization, you should make sure that the applications run appropriately in the virtual environment.
Try to think beyond Windows
In addition to virtual servers from Windows, you can use various others equally powerful virtualization applications. For example, Virtuozzo is an excellent virtualization application for both Linux and Windows operating system. Xen and Open VZ are some other good options.
Capacity planning is important
The complete set of benefits of virtualization can only be achieved when the hardware capabilities match perfectly with the server requirements. In order to achieve this objective, intensive capacity planning becomes crucial. For the virtual servers to give optimum performance, you would need to provide adequate RAM, appropriate physical and virtual hard disks, good network adaptors and sufficient number of CPUs. For infallible backup, you would also have to invest in redundant hardware
Security and disaster recovery issues
As a rule, server virtualization enhances the overall security of the system. From your perspective, it is relatively easier to make the entire system safe and secure due to the consolidation of servers. With respect to the attackers, it is extremely difficult to intrude because of the highly complex set of the resources. Server virtualization also makes disaster recovery a piece of cake. In the case of hardware failure, virtual machines can either be restored on a different virtual setup or on the same physical system. As compared to typical systems, the downtime is less, so the availability and productivity automatically increases.
Training and management
Maintenance of virtual server is not an easy proposition. Only well-trained and experienced professionals can successfully manage the systems properly. Give you staff proper training and hire proficient professionals for the upkeep of your virtual server.
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