What is virtualisation?
Virtualisation is a way of reducing the cost of your information technology by making the most efficient use of your hardware. Most business computers run at a fraction of their full performance for most of the time. Generally, they are also designed to run only one operating system.
Traditionally, this meant that if you wanted to use a particular application which ran on a different operating system, you had to invest in a new computer server (eg. while Microsoft Windows is by far the most common operating system for general office applications, many companies use Linux to run their web server).
Virtualisation is a software technology that allows you run multiple operating systems simultaneously on a single computer, thus saving you the outlay of buying additional hardware when you already have sufficient capacity on your existing equipment.
How does it work?
The software cleverly turns your computer into one or more ‘virtual’ servers which to all intents and purposes behave as if they’re separate machines – each apparently with their own processors, memory, hard disks, etc. Virtual servers can be loaded with software, controlled and managed as if they were separate physical boxes. In fact, they are simply sharing the underlying hardware resources on a single computer extremely fast and efficiently.
How does it save money and resources?
If you are setting up a small business you may decide to invest in different IT systems to provide email, a web server, a file server and a customer database. Depending on the operating system and the specific software you wish to use, you may end up purchasing three or four physical servers. By using virtualisation you should be able to run all these systems on one computer server. This not only saves you money on equipment, but also ongoing electricity costs and (often) air conditioning. It’s also far better for the environment since it reduces the consumption of natural resources – both in terms of the energy used by individual businesses and the resources involved in manufacturing so much redundant hardware.
Is it suitable for your business?
Successfully installing, configuring and running a virtual infrastructure requires more IT experience than you normally need to set up business systems. Unless you’re very technically savvy, you will need to hire an expert – ITTQ
Virtualisation won’t benefit every organisation. It may be for you if:
You need to run a number of different operating systems (eg. Windows and Linux).
You have a requirement to install many servers over a short period of time (eg. to host websites).
Cutting the number of computers you need through virtualisation
You want to run your own email, file storage and database systems in house.

ITTQ have extensive experience implementing virtualisation across many businesses.

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