Should I virtualize my server or desktop?
posted on September 13, 2010
Server and desktop virtualization has been growing in popularity for a few years now. Many of my SMB clients have wondered if they should consider virtualization. My answer, of course, is that it depends. Here are some great reasons to virtualize your servers and desktops:
1) Hardware independence. You want to get away from hardware dependence. You won't need to worry about hardware specific drivers since virtualization uses generic drivers.
2) Mobility. Building on #1 above, you will also be able to move your virtual server or desktop to new hardware whenever you want. Instead of a hardware upgrade being a massive project, it now becomes a much easier, safer and less costly way to move to newer and/or faster hardware.
3) Power savings. Virtualized servers tend to require much less power. This is because you can typically run more than one virtualized system on a server meant for virtualized systems.
4) Backups. Backing up a virtualized server can be much easier and more complete. Your entire server can be copied much like a file so you can restore it more easily.
5) Software. If you rely on a piece of software that will only run on an ancient system (like Windows 95 or something), that is a perfect candidate to virtualize. It is difficult to get new hardware for old operating systems, so those systems can be virtualized to remove the problem.
Does it add complexity? Yes, some, but less than you imagine. The benefits can be great. If you have any questions about whether virtualization fits for your environment, feel free to email me.
Author: Matt Pardo
Tags: hyper-v, virtualization, vmware, xen server