Virtualization

virtualizationWhat is Virtualization?

Virtualization is the creation of a virtual machine that acts like a real computer and operating system, separate from the actual hardware.  The most common form of virtualization today is hardware virtualization.  With hardware virtualization, a hypervisor is installed and run on the physical computer, that we call a host.  Within the host, we can create numerous virtual machines, which are called guests.  So with the right computer and hypervisor, we can build an entire network – a Windows file server, multiple Windows desktops, a Linux web server, and a Linux mail server – all on one physical machine!

Why Virtualize?

There are many reasons to consider a solution that includes virtualization.  These are just a few of the most popular:

  • Cost – consolidating many older, legacy servers onto a single new server can save on support and energy expenses.
  • Development – having numerous platforms available for testing, without the cost of numerous machines.
  • Easier migrations – because the guests are not tied to specific hardware, they can be migrated to a new host with relative ease
  • Faster provisioning – Need another platform?  Simply create a new virtual machine, and install a guest operating system.
  • Disaster recovery – because the guests exist as simple files, they allow many excellent options for recovery.

ESI and Virtualization

Empire Systems uses virtualization in our lab for designing and testing new networks, before investing in physical infrastructure.  We also use it for testing software updates/upgrades before rolling them out into our, and our clients’, production environments.  ESI has extensive experience with industry leading virtualization software from VMWare, including VMWare Workstation (for desktops) and vSphere ESX/ESXi hypervisor (for bare metal).  Additionally, we can also deploy and support their Open Source alternatives, VirtualBox (for desktops) and Xen (for bare metal).  Contact us today for a free evaluation to see if virtualization can simplify your IT needs, reduce hardware expenses, or energy costs.