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A Beginners Guide to Virtual Servers

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Anyone just stepping into setting up their own website for their business may have heard the words “virtual server.” For many people, understanding what a virtual server is and does can be a little daunting. The following is an explanation of virtual servers, how they are used, and why they may be beneficial for your business.

What Is a Virtual Server?

A virtual server is a physical machine which holds multiple software containers. Unlike traditional servers which only run one operating system, virtual servers are capable of each running their own operating system. The software containers are the actual virtual servers, and they operate and behave as if they are a separate physical computer.

How Are Virtual Servers Used?

Virtual servers are used mainly to allow multiple owners to have their own separate and secure server of which they are the administrator. In businesses, each of the functions, including application server, database server, webserver, and so on can run a virtual server which they use to power their IP address, domain name, file directories, and applications. A larger business or company may use virtual servers to combine multiple machines with a single machine that is running virtual machines.

What Are the Benefits of a Virtual Server?

Virtual servers give users like yourself many benefits. Some of the main advantages of using a virtual server include:

  • Better testing environments
  • Physical hardware redundancy
  • Resource allocation control

The combination of all these advantages creates a more efficient use when it comes to all your existing resources. This may be from physical infrastructure to human management of the server itself. Either way, it leads to a lower total cost of ownership. With virtual servers you can reduce or add the different resources, including disk space, RAM, and/or CPU as needed. This can be from another virtual server, which may not require those additional resources or which may have the resources you need.

With most virtual platforms today, you have the ability to move a live virtual server from one selected virtual host to another. The best part about this is it won’t interfere with your setup because the server doesn’t even know it has moved the host. This is beneficial for easy management of hardware maintenance without having to shut down the system for long periods of downtime.

Virtual servers also create a fantastic testing environment. This is because you can easily isolate your server from the rest of the network without the risk of interference when testing new software or internal applications.

Virtual Servers vs. Dedicated Servers

When deciding on a server, it may be difficult to determine the one that will best suit your needs. The following is a rundown on why virtual servers may be a better option than dedicated servers.

Cost

Compared to dedicated servers, virtual servers can help to save more money. This can be savings from energy consumption, human resources, or related hardware. The purchasing cost of individual servers is also much higher than that of virtual servers. This may cost you more if you’re looking to purchase multiple servers for larger businesses.

Performance

The performance of virtual servers over dedicated servers can be higher. With virtual hardware becoming faster and faster as technology evolves, you will see more and more people like yourself switching over to virtual servers for their businesses. Dedicated servers generally use roughly 20% of their overall computing capacity. Because of this it tends to be a waste of usable resources. This is why many businesses switch to the virtual server.

Time Management

Virtual servers also provide users with better time management tools that can help when it comes to reviewing and monitoring information across multiple servers. This helps to reduce the need for large human resources and reduces the risk of mistakes occurring when reviewing the system. Dedicated servers tend to be more complex, due to their hardware separation, and take more time to monitor and review.

Disaster Recovery

A great advantage of using virtual servers includes their efficient disaster recovery response. When one virtual server fails, it will signal instantly on another machine. This allows the user to quickly and efficiently address the failure as quickly as possible.

Should I Use Virtual Servers for My Business?

Yes, you should! Virtual servers can benefit businesses in one way or another. Before making the move to virtual servers, it is best to speak with your supplying IT company to address your needs and requirements for your individual business. In some cases virtual servers may not be the right choice for your company. By speaking to an IT professional you will be able to make an educated and more informed decision about whether a virtual server will improve or hinder your business strategy. So … which server did you choose?