|You’re in a situation where you’re not quite satisfied with your computing environment. You are aware of the poor state of your current systems and know you need to make some changes to operate more efficiently. When your computers are running slow, most people opt for purchasing a new one or at least reformatting their existing system and starting with a clean slate. We strongly suggest you consider virtualization as the next step for improving your network infrastructure. Server and workstation virtualization come with a wide range of benefits while still reducing costs and providing an efficient environment in which to work. We at Teleco South Florida would like to take a moment to point out just some of the features available to you once you make the decision to virtualize.|
Quicker User Setup/Recovery – You more than likely have provided a workstation (PC) for each member of your staff. Each one contains a specific user profile geared towards providing the user with the applications and shortcuts they need to conduct their business. If this individual’s computer dies for any reason, do they have the ability to simply hop on another computer and have access to all the tools they need? We’re guessing probably not without considerable effort. In a virtual workstation environment, the user profiles are stored on the servers. Access to these profiles can be gained through a simple PC or what is commonly referred to as a “thin client.” Users no longer need to be connected to their PC. The device that can attach to this type of environment can be anything from a small PC or tablet computer and even a smartphone. The processing power, or horsepower, of the device is irrelevant as all activity takes place on the server. A thin client, or dumb terminal as it was referred to in years past, is typically $300-$400 less expensive.
Smaller Footprint/ Less Real Estate – You may have multiple servers now handling various tasks. For example, you might have a file/print server, email server, separate system for your accounting staff and an application server for day-to-day business. This was a common practice to setup your servers this way to keep your applications isolated when systems needed to be taken down for maintenance. In the virtual world, these systems can be combined and deployed from a single piece of hardware partitioned accordingly. By reducing the amount of physical servers, you can clearly see the cost savings here. From a space savings or real estate standpoint as, in the scenario we just mentioned, you’ve just gone from four machines down to one. If you’re hosting your systems at a third-party location, we’ll bet you’re paying for the space you use in the datacenter. Even if you’re not, by reducing the amount of servers, you’re still saving on space. This is all not to mention the amount you may save on electricity and air-conditioning alone. As an additional bonus to virtualization your IT staff will be freed-up to focus on more important, higher-priority tasks rather than having to maintain multiple systems on a regular basis.
Greater Redundancy – Systems purchased for virtualization purposes are typically configured with multiple processors and power supplies, highly redundant disk storage and multiple network cards. Couple this with maximum memory and you’ve got a pretty solid environment to house your applications and data! With this type of configuration each application server can continue running in a virtual state while any necessary maintenance is completed. The virtual server(s) can easily be moved from one device to another instantly without downtime. If you suffer from any type of hardware failure, there is a redundant backup process the server can fail over to. This means greater up-time and availability to your staff and a far less chance of data loss. To enhance this scenario even further, you could utilize clustering technology to tie two similar systems together, replicating data, either at the same location or at another facility. This brings us to our next point.
Business Continuity – Let’s just say you’ve opted to use the clustering technology mentioned above and have your servers in two separate locations. In the event of catastrophe, you can rest easy knowing all your valuable information is stored and readily available at your alternate location. Clustering can be configured to send snapshots of data at whatever timeframe your business requires. Having your data safe in a clustered environment allows you to focus on the safety of your family and employees while not having to be concerned about your company’s computer issues.
Even if you’ve not chosen the datacenter-clustered solution, you’re still pretty safe. Virtualized systems are typically backed-up regularly using what is known as “snapshots.” These are images of your systems containing configuration information as well as data which can be easily retrieved and restored in a matter of hours as opposed to days. Again, with a virtual solution in place, your road to recovery is a short one.
Cloud Utilization – The majority of companies today are making wise decisions and taking advantage of Cloud Technologies when it comes to their computing environment. Placing your servers in “The Cloud” is simply making them available from anywhere at any time to whomever you choose. This can be taken advantage of from your facilities or, in a better scenario, at a third-party datacenter. Third-party centers are known as “hardened” datacenters and are typically not as susceptible to catastrophic damage as your typical office building. They have redundant power sources; fire, smoke and water protection; and very tight physical as well as network security built into the centers. In either case, utilizing Cloud Technologies can greatly enhance the efficiencies of your business by both protecting your data as well as making it available 24x7x365 from anywhere across the globe.
Most of you are probably already using some form of these technologies today on a regular basis without even being aware. If you have a Gmail, Yahoo or Windows Live account you are already “in The Cloud.” These companies have developed a giant cluster of virtual servers in datacenters across the globe. You can too!
Why not take a moment and contact Teleco South Florida today and let us assess your current solution and provide you with recommendations on how you can improve on your company’s overall computing environment and protect your valuable business assets so you and your staff can rest easier today.