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System Virtualisation is a powerful tool that allows many virtual machines to run on a single physical machine in parallel. Each virtual machine functions as a complete system with networking, its own operating system and has access to CPU, storage and memory via the Hypervisor (the controller of the virtual machines). As the virtual machine is completely encapsulated by the Hypervisor many x86 operating systems can run concurrently on the single machine, eliminating the need for any number of computers. A win / win for both business and the environment!
Why deploy a virtualisation platform ?
Less servers & More space – Instead of running multiple physical servers using different operating systems, use Virtualisation to have multiple servers running on one machine. Save space in server racks and run two or more application servers on one machine!
Less workstations & More Thin Clients – Removing workstations and replacing them with Thin Clients are cheaper than a physical workstation, reduce space in an office and allow each potential physical workstation to be virtualised. This not only makes data transfer between virtualised workstations faster (as they are essentially running on the same machine) but allows the virtual workstations to be centrally located and maintained!
Less hardware – Rather than purchasing 2 or 3 physical machines, only one physical machine is needed when using virtualisation, reducing the expense of hardware!
Smaller power bill & Cheaper data centres – Running 3 or more physical machines can be expensive, but with virtualisation you can run those machines virtualised resulting in the elimination of the need of the other physical machines, eliminating their power consumption and heat generation. This reduces the power bill and the cost of cooling machines in a data centre.
Save installation time – Every time a new workstation or sever is added to an organisation that machine must be physically set up, then have an operating system installed and have the users or servers applications installed. Using virtual machines and thin clients this process is much simpler as all that needs to be done create a new virtual machine and flash the user type or sever type image onto it, which would have the operating system and all the applications needed for either the server or user to do their work efficiently and securely.
Streamline application testing – Traditionally to test a networked application a test server would have to be used with a functional network, which may cause vulnerabilities within an organisation. Virtualisation however, can do this without putting your network and systems in jeopardy. For example a test network can be set up using one or more virtual machines, running on any operating system and using a multitude of predefined environments (i.e. configuration set-ups). Virtualisation ensures testing is controlled, flexible and risk free.
Less on site support – Instead of going around on site to maintain each workstation or server, you can use virtualisation to minimise on site support costs, as the virtualised hardware and software is in a centralized location allowing maintenance to be performed in one location.
Lower network traffic – As virtualised machines use virtual network connections if the virtualised machines are communicating to each other via the same box, their network traffic is offloaded. Network congestion can be minimized if virtualised machines are used!