The Pros and Cons of Virtualization

More than ever, the IT industry is aggressively venturing into virtualization. This is triggered by the immense benefits that have seen numerous companies adopt it. Even more so, new enterprises prefer working in a virtual environment since this facilitates remote working conditions.

Virtualization can be used for various purposes, from emulating a real computer to running a virtual machine. However, due to its diverse application in different industries, the results are always different. And, like any other technology, virtualization has its pros and cons in the modern world. This post explores such advantages and disadvantages, so you can make an informed decision about whether or not to adopt the technology. 

What is Virtualization?

Virtualization refers to the creation of a virtual version of something that exists physically. It relies on software that simulates how a computer functions when creating a virtual system. Multiple operating systems, applications, and virtual systems can all be running on the same server simultaneously.

Virtualization enables more effective server utilization by a range of different users. Virtual machines can be isolated from the actions of other virtual machines on the same host, ensuring that programs running in the same virtual machine are not affected by the activities of other virtual machines.

What Are the Pros of Virtualization?

Creating a virtual system in an organization comes with a lot of benefits. This includes:

  • Reduced hardware costs
  • Improved performance and availability
  • Greater flexibility

Reduced Hardware Costs

With virtualization, there is no need for hardware components. Therefore, operations become cheaper since the cost of installing hardware components and creating physical space is eliminated. All you need is to pay the service provider for access, and you start using it right away, just as if it was installed locally.

The use of fewer hardware devices can lead to a more efficient administration of data centers. Data security and disaster prevention become easier because information may be easily exchanged between applications. Other than enhanced IT responsiveness, organizations can greatly benefit from this in many other ways.

Improved Performance And Availability

Virtualization offers more advanced features that allow for the consistent availability of virtual instances. This makes it easier to move virtual instances from one server to another, which might be challenging with traditional systems.

This can be done without shutting down or restarting the already running processes, thus enhancing better performance. In addition, the virtual system ensures that the data is safe and not lost during the migration, unlike the traditional systems where books of records and other data storage components can easily disappear.

System patching and maintenance can be performed without impacting the availability of your workloads, thanks to virtualization. To meet your service level agreements (SLAs), virtualization enables you to transfer your workloads to servers with more processing capability dynamically.

Live Migration and vMotion technologies can be used to relocate VMs between hosts without disrupting the end-user experience. Additionally, VMs running on the server can be moved to another available host to perform server maintenance without impacting their operations. 

Greater Flexibility

The ability to combine several systems is one of the primary advantages of virtualization. Using a virtual or cloud-based system gives you a level of control that is impossible with a traditional, physical system. Businesses can grow more rapidly and efficiently due to the ability to adapt. The speed with which data can be moved and updated to new virtual machines (VMs) is one of the primary benefits of virtualization.

A virtual computer can be extended, reduced, or moved without changing the underlying hardware. Virtualization provides enterprises greater freedom to change their file storage environment since the data is no longer limited to a physical storage device.

What Are the Cons of Virtualization?

Even though virtualization has positively contributed to the business and IT world, it has some weaknesses. These include:

  1. Increased complexity
  2. Potential security risks
  3. The need for hefty investments

Increased Complexity

Virtualization could make it complicated for administrators to determine the physical system that their virtual machines are running on or the specific storage being used for a certain machine in the event of data loss. More data can be lost because fewer workers can manage and monitor the higher amount of virtual machines.

Virtualization introduces a new level of complexity in the management of snapshots. All of the changes made to a file can be saved in a “snapshot.” The file can then be accessed using the snapshot as it was during the snapshot moment.

Furthermore, virtualization does not work with all servers and software. Some of the organizations’ IT infrastructure will not support virtualized solutions. Because of this, many companies have ceased sponsoring them. Individuals and organizations have to use a hybrid system to overcome this.

Potential Security Risks

Data security is a crucial aspect for all organizations since it is often targeted by enemies. However, virtualized environments put sensitive data at risk since other parties manage the servers. Therefore, it is advisable to look for virtualization service providers who provide adequate data security.

According to a report published by IBM, the current average cost of a data breach is approximately $4.24 million, which is a great increase compared to previous years.

The Need For Hefty Investments

Even though the average cost of virtualization for a typical business is quite low, the implementation expenses are rather costly. At some point, hardware and software must be developed, made, or purchased in order to be implemented. This means you will dig deeper into your pocket to cater for such expenses.

Initially, the costs of moving from a traditional system to a virtualized one are likely to be considerable. Servers and software licensing might be costly, so be prepared for that.

Conclusion

Several businesses have accepted and adopted the advantages and disadvantages of virtualization. The initial high cost of implementing it should not discourage you as it reduces after some time, and you get to enjoy the full benefits. There are numerous companies currently offering such services, and you should weigh each of their offerings keenly to be able to choose the one that makes the most sense. 

Apollo Accelerators is an insightful resource with plenty of posts about varying technological topics. Stay tuned for more updates that can help you discover the technologies that can help you push your business forward. 

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