Virtualization may sound like a baffling term to the layman, but it’s a concept that has profound implications for businesses wanting to get more out of technology. As a business decision-maker, you probably know that modern technology is key to your success, but implementing the right solutions is a different matter. One way to get more out of available computing resources in your organization is to use virtualization. How does virtualization work? Virtualization refers to the creation of virtual, rather than actual, computing resources to handle individual workloads on the same physical system. The most common form of virtualization occurs on an operating-system level in which a single computer runs multiple operating systems. Virtualization works directly with the CPU, rather than through a software layer, for better performance. In addition, virtualization is often confused with the cloud, but they are two different things that frequently work together. A cloud provider may, for example, provide complete virtual desktop experiences delivered through a web browser. That desktop may provide similar functionality to a workstation computer, but it’s actually nothing more than a virtualized container running from a server in a data center, providing multiple desktop functions to hundreds, or even thousands, of users. Without virtualization, computing lacks scalability. For example, you might have one computer per user and need to buy another one when you enroll a new user. Similarly, you could have a single physical server hosting all the apps and data that your business requires to function, yet any excess storage space and processing power ends up going to waste. That’s because you basically have a single machine performing one task at a time — an inherently inefficient system. Maximizing your available resources You can implement virtualization technology on any computer, whether it’s a laptop or a high-end workstation or server. Many businesses use desktop virtualization on their in-house server systems whereby one machine (i.e., the server) takes care of almost all the computing workload, maximizing efficiency and centralizing data storage for easier backup and disaster recovery. All that’s needed to access the server-hosted virtual desktops and other resources is a cheap, barebones computer or any other networked device. Cloud-based virtualization works in much the same way, except on a much greater scale in which a data center serves multiple clients. Popular public cloud providers like Amazon and Google allow users to create virtual desktops per their desired specifications, including CPU type and speed, memory amount, storage space, and discrete graphics configuration. In such cases, the computing work is carried out in the host’s data center while the user experience is streamed over the internet to your screen. The scalability of virtual servers, desktops, and other systems is one of the greatest advantages of the technology. Because a virtualized system is defined by software, it exists as a single image file that you can move around, copy, and modify just like any other file stored on the computer in front of you. This makes it far quicker and easier to add and onboard new users: instead of having to buy a new computer for a new team member, you can simply create a new virtual desktop for them, which they’ll be able to access from any internet-connected device, such as an employee-owned laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Alongside cloud hosting, virtualization offers the ultimate business technology benefit by reducing, or almost eliminating, your dependence on in-house hardware and the expertise needed to maintain it. It also enables practically limitless scalability and mobility all while giving you access to cutting-edge technology that would otherwise be far beyond the reach of the typical small-business. Still not quite sure what virtualization can do for your business? Sabio Information Technologies is here to help organizations in the Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach areas maximize their use of technology. Call us today to get started.
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