Thursday, May 23, 2013

All you need to know about Virtualization

It is part of cloud computing, it has it's own benefits, and it's not cheap.

Ever since I was told about cloud computing, the wonders of how cloud technology can help you work from anywhere as long as you have internet. You can get the all stuffs exactly the same from your desktop, and you can get them, exactly on your mobile devices, like your smart phone and tablet.

Quick guide to virtualization:
  1. Virtualization is not cloud computing, it's part of it.
  2. Hypervisor seperates OS instances from the host machine.
  3. Type 1 - Bare metal hypervisor: hardware > hypervisor > OS
  4. Type 2 - Hosted hypervisor: hardware > OS > hypervisor > OS   
  5. The server has a hypervisor installed, it has no interface. It shows the hardware spec, and IP address.
  6. The management console is responsible for managing what's going on inside the server. It connects from the client PC to the hypervisor through network, identifying them by IP address displayed.
  7. Additional OS instances, are uploaded through management console, uploads the image file of the OS to the server.
  8. The migration process from existing one can be done from the existing server, it packages the whole content into a storage device, and re upload it   

Words are hard to digest? Don't worry there's a YouTube video that explains in visuals. 

What's the benefit of this Virtualization?

You can utilize their features for a larger scale IT environment, that's what they're meant for.

For virtualization, different company packaged their management console and hypervisors differently. If you want a lot of cool features, you might need to pay more and choose the right product from it's long product list. The management console are able to perform special operations such as:

1. Automatically On & Off Power

The server rack components consumes a lot of power, if not managed well, the 2U server that is not required for critical operations will cost a lot of electricity bill. With management consoles, the hypervisor can turn off the power when not in use, and turn back on when it’s required. Thus help saves electricity bill.

2. Fault Management

The hypervisors can move the OS instances to another hypervisor via management console, in case of server failure; the OS instances can be moved to another functioning 2U server. Thus, provide zero downtime and ample time for the IT executive to get the server up again.

3. Over allocation of server resources

The reason why corporates favors VDI is because they were able to fully utilize the resources on the server rack. User’s activities throughout their work time have peaks and valley. After they clock in, the first thing they do is to check email, that hour itself became a peak user activity where one of the 2U server’s resources are used up completely, with virtualization, the email reading instances can be transferred to another 2U server using the management console. Thus reducing the load on the 2U server, and prevent system from failing. There are valley user activities, after working for 4 hours, everyone is out doing something else that doesn’t require the server’s resources, that’s how the management console do load balancing and fault tolerance.

4. Saves hardware and infrastructure cost

Old production servers that servers critical mission, such as those enterprise resources planning (ERP) systems can be migrated to the virtualized servers, you can still run those systems such as Windows NT, displacing the old physical server, free up more space in the rack and keep it live as long as there's other virtualized servers on.

5. Improved productivity with enhanced work mobility using their own device

As long as there is good internet connection, staff's productivity can be improved through the use of virtualization. Imagine you can store all your working files on the cloud, or your company's server storage, or NAS, you can run applications which you don't need buy personally, and run applications which your own device cannot run. Ever thought you could use your tablet to work as if you're using a desktop? With virtualization you can!

6. IT admins gain more control over user's IT resources

The IT admins can distribute optimized IT resource, where they can control user's policy, rights, software, and resources. The management can safely comply with policies and get great value from their IT usage.

What are virtualization products out in the market?

So that's all for today's post, if the response of this article is good, where there are people who's interested in learning more about virtualization, I will do another blog post on it.

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