Virtual servers and virtual desktops. Their names seem to imply that they are not real. Is some ways, this emerging technology straddles the line between two worlds. In the past, companies purchased server after server, each responsible for their own tasks. One was a web server, one a database server. You didn’t want to run these on the same machine in fear of over-taxing the hardware or worse, losing one machine and losing everything. This was the way it was until the data centers entered the picture.
Data centers are great. They offer redundant power supplies, redundant connectivity, air conditioned space, but this all comes at a cost. Charges for these services come in the form of power usage and space you take up in the data center. Now each server that you add eats space and power and in effect, dollars.
Enter VMWare. The engineers at VMWare realized that at any given time, a server is only in use for a small percentage of time. That is, the resources such as memory and processor are idle for a large percentage of the day. But they remain on, consuming power and still taking up space. What if you could virtualize these servers by means of making them into files that run as software, then putting a bunch of them on one big server that parses out the resources as needed?
That’s exactly what they did. Today it is possible to run 20 to 30 servers on one host computer. Give yourself 3 host computers, and VMWare is smart enough to share the resources of all three hosts and make decisions as to what server should run on what host. Not only that, but it will move these servers during the day depending on the load of the resources being used by each host. What happens in the middle of the night when your staff stops working? VMWare will move all servers to one host and power the others down. In the end, this equates to less space in the racks and dramatic decreases in power consumption.
This can also be applied to the desktop environment. Instead of buying new desktops every 3-4 years as they get older and outdated, VMWare offers Virtual Desktop which allows you to move the desktop into a centralized location eliminating the need to constantly update the users hardware. Memory, processor, and drive space can be managed and manipulated on the fly making desktop management a breeze.
So what about the backups? And what’s this replication? Well, now that you have your environment virtualized, you can do some pretty cool things. If you are concerned about large scale outages and need to have a disaster recovery plan, wouldn’t it be great if you could have a copy, or a replica, of each server at a remote location waiting to be spun up for use? And what if these servers could be kept within 15 minutes of your production servers so that in the case of a disaster, your company doesn’t miss a beat? Well you can.
Veeam Backup and Replication is a product that is at the forefront of data duplication. Remember that your VMs(virtual machines) are just files now, not physical servers. So Veeam just copies them using some advanced methods over an internet or other WAN link, to another VMWare host server. It also maintains these replicas and copies only the changes that occur since the last replication. A great solution that solves many issues for companies that need a plan for recovery.
If your company is at a crossroads dealing with server sprawl or out of control costs in the data center, we can help. Call today for a free demo to see if this solution is right for you.