What do you think of when you think of a server? Traditionally, a server is a large heavy duty computer designed for redundancy with lots of memory, lots of disk space and a big price tag! You might spend thousands of dollars and end up with one very important computer. One.
Let’s talk about what servers do. Servers most often have very specialized roles, and they perform those roles very effectively. In a company’s typical IT environment, you may have a Windows Domain Controller, a file server, database server, e-mail server and maybe a print server. That’s five servers.
Generally, servers don’t do much throughout the day. They run along doing their routine tasks, serving mail, files, printers, database access, but for the most part, are not unduly straining their hardware.
This is where virtualization comes into play! Imagine if you bought a physical server with 64 GB of RAM and 750 GB of storage for a small office. If we were to use that server as a “Host”, we could create those servers “virtually” using Virtualization software (VMWare, Microsoft’s Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer are just a few). But using this configuration, we can add the following:
1. 1 Windows Domain controller (4 GB of RAM 60 GB disk space).
2. 1 Windows File Server (4 GB of RAM 100 GB disk space).
3. 1 Windows Database Server (4 GB of RAM 100 GB disk space).
4. 1 Windows E-Mail Server (8 GB of RAM 160 GB disk space).
5. 1 Windows Print Server (4 GB of RAM 60 GB disk Space).
You’ve now only used up 24 GB RAM if your servers use all the RAM they’ve been allotted. (They can always use less but never more than what they have been assigned.) You’re also only using 480 GB of your disk space. In a virtual environment, there is always room for expansion. If you have enough memory and disk space, you can always add additional resources to any virtual server. Need more disk space for your file server? If there is unused disk space, just add another 20 GB to your file server. The process takes five minutes. Same thing for memory.
All of this with the same one physical server.
If you are a medium sized business with more servers, add a Storage Area Network (SAN) and a second “host” to create a “cluster” and add redundancy to your environment. If there is a problem with one host, you can have your virtual servers fail over to your other host, without missing a beat. Naturally, there are higher costs with the more advanced functionality, but if you need the reliability and redundancy, it is well worth the additional cost.
But in the end, a virtual environment will save you thousands of dollars. Each physical server leaves lots of unused memory and central processing unit (CPU) resources unused which you pay for. Virtualizing servers leverages a physical server’s unused memory and CPU resources, allowing the buyer to save significantly on costs.
Contact The TNS Group to determine how virtualization can help you save money and run your business more efficiently.