How Can You Benefit From Server (Hardware) Virtualization
Are you looking to extend the life of physical servers, reduce hardware costs, and simplify IT management? Server virtualization can effectively meet these needs and provide you with additional benefits.
What is Server Virtualization
In computing service, there are 7 types of virtualization including hardware virtualization (namely server virtualization), software virtualization, memory virtualization, storage virtualization, data virtualization, network virtualization and desktop virtualization.
Among them, server virtualization was originally designed to enable Windows and Linux operating systems to run simultaneously on a single server, dividing physical servers into multiple virtual servers that each host their own operating system.
There are numerous server virtualization products available such as VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V and Linux-based KVM. If you are looking to upgrade an old data center or build a new one, you might consider virtualizing your physical servers. To help you make a further decision, let's first talk about the server virtualization benefits?
8 Main Benefits of Server Virtualization
Each virtualization technology has its own advantages. Here I will list the main server virtualization benefits:
1. Reduce hardware costs. The most obvious benefit of virtual server is saving the cost of purchasing numerous physical servers. Often, there are physical servers that need to run large amounts of data, while others will be limited or underutilized. Server virtualization can dynamically allocate resources and reduce the need for hardware. It also saves on other costs such as electricity, maintenance, cooling, total area, etc.
2. More efficiently allocate resource. While physical servers often have a mismatch between hardware resources and applications, virtual servers can provide specific resources for individual server based on particular needs, including for memory, CPU, disk space and other devices.
3. Rapidly deploy servers. Virtualized servers can be deployed and configured more quickly. And it doesn’t require a lot of time to start like physical server.
4. Fast Recovery. Snapshots helps to achieve instant VM recovery since they can regularly backup the entire virtual machine and quickly restore the VM to previous state.
5. Friendly application development environment. In the testing environment, the virtual server separates the testing numbers from other servers, creating a secure and independent environment without any impact on the active servers.
6. Run multiple operating systems simultaneously. You can run different operating systems based on the same server hardware.
7. Simplify management. Server virtualization systems have centralized management applications that can monitor and adjust the status of all virtual servers as needed, which saves time and money.
8. Move running virtual machines easily. You can move a running virtual machine from one host to another without downtime, which greatly helps with disaster recovery. For example, VMware's vMotion enables Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) and Distributed Power Management (DPM). If a server fails, you can run VM failover automatically, providing the most comprehensive recovery data.
3 Types of Server Virtualization
This part introduces 3 different types of Server Virtualization such as Full Virtualization, Paravirtualization, Operating System virtualization.
Full Virtualization. Full virtualization uses a hypervisor to completely isolates guests and directly communicates to a physical server.
Paravirtualization. The operating system recognizes the existence of hypervisor, and then it directly communicates by comments known as hypercalls.
Operating System virtualization. It does not use hypervisors, the guests must use the same OS as the host.
After understanding the advantages of server virtualization and learning the 3 types of it, you should be able to make your choice.
Additions: Backup virtual server to avoid data loss for free
The benefits of virtual servers is that it utilize limited physical hardware resources to run more virtual machines, which has many advantages as mentioned above. But just as the physical machines, your data on virtual servers are not always safe. It's recommended to make regular backups of your virtual machines which can protect your business data and prevent financial losses from disasters.
Virtual machine backup is necessary for virtual server data protection. VM backup methods include exporting VM, copying files of virtual machine, cloning VM, or third-party tools. For enterprises, the automatic backup solution provided by the third-party software is the best choice which can automatically secure virtual machine data, provide instant disaster recovery, and facilitate long-term archiving.
AOMEI Cyber Backup is a free VM backup software devoted to back up and restore virtual machines securely. It automates VM backups with flexible backup strategies and has the following benefits.
Perpetual Free: no time limit for AOMEI Cyber Backup Free Edition.
Support Free ESXi: AOMEI Cyber Backup supports both paid and free versions of VMware ESXi.
Agentless backup: Backup virtual machines at host level without installing agent on each VM, reducing O&M costs.
Easy-to-use: With the user-friendly interface, it’s easy to backup multiple virtual machines based on a few clicks.
Centralized management: Provide centralized console to backup and manage multiple VMware/Hyper-V virtual machines.
Instant disaster recovery: Easily store VM backups to network or external hard drive and restore the virtual machine from any point without any complicated configuration or reinstallation.
Role-Assignment: allow one administrator to create sub-accounts with limited privilege, effectively reduce administration cost and manual errors.
Please hit the button below to download and use AOMEI Cyber Backup for free:
*You can choose to install this VM backup software on either Windows or Linux system.
How to back up virtual machines for free:
1. Bind device: Access to AOMEI Cyber Backup web client and navigate to Source Devices tab to add and bind your Hyper-V, vCenter or Standalone ESXi host. The VMs on the host will e clearly listed with their backup status for monitoring.
2. Create Backup Task >> Create New Task to schedule the VM backup.
● In the opened window, enter Task Name and select VMware ESXi Backup as an example.
● Select virtual machines that you want to backup (up to 10 VMs in one task on Free Edition) and specify the Target as network or local destination.
● Schedule the task with full/incremental/differential backup and set up its backup frequency as daily/weekly/monthly.
3. Click Start Backup, then monitor the backup status from the main screen.
✍ While the Free Edition covers most of the VM backup needs, you can also upgrade to Premium Edition to enjoy:
✦ Batch VM Backup: Batch backup large numbers of VMs managed by vCenter Server or standalone ESXi hosts.
✦ Backup Cleanup: Configure retention policy to auto delete the old backup files and save storage space.
✦ Restore to new location: Easily make a clone of a virtual machine in the same or another datastore/host, without reinstalling or configuring a new VM.
In this article, I introduced many of the server virtualization benefits, and effective ways on how to protect your virtual machine data better.
If you are planning to upgrade your servers or build a new one, you can try server virtualization which has multiple advantages in terms of cost savings, efficient use of resources, fast disaster recovery, etc.