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How Virtualization Technology Can Give Your Small Business an Edge

So what is virtualization? What are the benefits of virtualization technology? Can virtualization give your small business a competitive advantage? Just read on.

Have you heard of virtualization technology? It’s actually a pretty simple concept in theory, but conversely it can be a bit tricky to describe and therefore understand. However, if you’re a small business owner, making the effort to learn about it can lead to an unbelievably efficient way to help your brainchild grow.

     What is Virtualization Technology?

At its most basic level, virtualization in this instance is the creation of something; an operating system, hardware platform, storage device or network resources, that rather than being built as a completely new machine, has been implemented within an existing one.

For example, if you normally run windows on your computer but would like to try linux; with special software, you can set up a second operating system on the same computer to connect and control both via cloud technology.

As mentioned before, it’s a surprisingly easy installation and a simple concept that has nonetheless shaken up the IT world and changed how businesses go about their day to day procedures.

     3 Types of Virtualization Technology

There are three different kinds of virtualization:

  • Server

Which is the type given in the example above; where one computer, the host is actually running the operating systems of multiple computers.

  • The guests network

Which can take many client or server services; like security and mobility, and puts them all on one network.

  • Storage

Which is like network virtualization in that it allows more advanced features, such as storage management across a broad framework.

       Is Virtualization Technology For Me and my Business?

If you’re the owner of a business and you’d like to see it expand or bring the technology up to the moment, then virtualization is probably a route for you. Word on the street is that this is the next big thing, the new frontier, and its usage and popularity has steadily grown over the course of the last decade. Why wait to be a part of game-changing technology that will bring you and your business to the fore? In the past decade, IT companies and businesses have been testing and experimenting with the possibilities of virtualization and the reports have come back positively. There are, in fact, numerous benefits to adding virtualization to your business.

     Advantages of Virtualization

What seems to be at the top of most companies’ lists when it comes to virtualization might surprise you – but it’s actually a green technology. Virtualization, believe it or not, conserves energy, as merging physical machines lessens the monthly power and cooling impact. Less machines, less electricity…this means it’s not only good for the environment, but it can also save you money.

If you’ve ever been interested in testing new software, virtualization allows you to do that with a previously unknown ease. Are you afraid of corrupting all the current programs on your server? Don’t be. Virtualization gives you the freedom to experiment without the fear of what it will do to the rest of your machine. Fear of loss is a big issue when it comes to computers (even the everyday person knows the agony of a crashed computer and losing all their photos, music and documents). Virtualization offers an improvement on disaster recovery, with money-saving options like cheaper hardware on the disaster recovery site, more affordable replication sites and software that allows you to test your fail over plan. Imagine that – being able to see if your failover plan will actually work before something horrible happens.

     Virtualization Security

Security is a huge concern for anyone connected with a computer. The amazing thing about virtualization is that you can use a product, like a security suite from Trend Micro Enterprise Security, to protect multiple virtual machines – because they are all running from one host! This also streamlines the installation process and saves you and your IT team valuable time. Another option virtualization gives you is the ability to replicate your production environment and then let employees train on the exact copies without having to worry about them messing up something irrevocably.

No doubt, virtualization is a big step, and while it seems a little daunting at first, the most important thing to remember is that it’s a big step forward.

About the Author: Matthew Bennett is a contributing writer and tech enthusiast whose hobby has been working with and around computers for the past eight years. He lives in Seattle and he maintains a blog about the marriage of entrepreneurship and technology. He hopes to turn this blog into a book someday.

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