Virtualization techniques emerged as formidable solutions and began to become popular in the mid-1990s. Over the years, organizations came to understand that not all physical hardware had their full potential exploited. Some applications, for example, could only be used on a particular type of hardware or operating system, causing the company to invest in specific server structures to meet each demand.
This is how virtualization and the solution to some of these problems came about. Now companies can use a particular hardware to run two or more different applications or operating systems. This ended with the need to acquire a new machine for each application to be executed, which generates savings, as it reduces costs associated with the acquisition of equipment and all the infrastructure necessary to maintain data centers.
However, even if you have several good points, virtualization cannot be understood as a wildcard solution that works for all companies. It is important that the IT analyst knows how to evaluate when virtualizing is the best option for the business and for this, he needs to understand all its pros and cons.
The benefits of virtualization
When applied correctly and in an organization that really needs this kind of solution, virtualization can bring several benefits:
Energy savings due to fewer physical servers;
- Agility to develop new services with the creation of logical layers;
- Unified services on a single physical device make it easier to manage hardware resources;
- Better use of hardware, minimizing equipment idleness;
- Compatibility with applications;
- Physical space saving;
- Lower investment in hardware acquisition;
- More consistency and ease of performing backup procedures;
- Reliability and agility in the disaster recovery process
The cons of virtualization
The negatives associated with virtualization can be easily overcome when projects are architected by skilled professionals with market experience.
In case of overhead on the hardware where the VMs were installed, all of them will be affected. For this reason, it is necessary to take contingency measures to avoid that a hardware unavailability will greatly affect the operation of the company.
- Performance: Poorly designed environments, or specific applications, can suffer serious performance problems;
- Availability:In structures that do not have contingency, if the equipment responsible for managing the virtual machines stops, all applications associated with it will be unavailable, generating unavailability for the operation of the company;
- Professionals: Finding specialized professionals can be a challenge for companies of the most varied sizes and segments.
Paid or open source solutions?
When deciding which type of software will be used in the virtualization project, the analyst should reflect on the needs of the business. From there it will be easier to define between commercial and open source solutions.
Open source tools have a low or zero cost of ownership, but may not have all the options and configurations required for your type of problem. Such solutions may also require a greater learning curve, in addition to bringing an overload of responsibility to the technology professional, increasing the volume of critical orders to be managed.
Business tools, as a rule, are more robust and less susceptible to failures, providing greater peace of mind to technology professionals in organizations. These can also be accompanied by specialized services, which guarantee less need for intervention of the technology professionals of the companies and more reliability, but with a higher investment.
The investment and technical capacity of the technology team will be the benchmarks for choosing the type of solution and services to be consumed in virtualization projects. Each case must be evaluated taking into account business particularities.
After all, when is virtualizing the best option?
Virtualization is usually an excellent choice for businesses, regardless of their size or industry. However, it is necessary for technology professionals to know the technical and financial resources available, to start or not, projects focused on virtualization.
In the definition phase one of the great doubts of technology professionals is associated with the implementation model, being able to choose the development of internal technical skills to develop the project, or hire specialized companies to share responsibility for this demand.
Opting to outsource, or bring this responsibility to the team’s technology, is not always an easy task, especially in businesses where technology teams are small or have less investment capacity. Evaluate the level of complexity of your virtualization project and make the decision. At this stage it is important that the technology professional seek referrals from specialized companies, as a failure in the design of the infrastructure can trigger future major headaches.
In summary, if there are many questions and uncertainties about the virtualization project, be sure to contact a specialist. This attitude can drastically reduce the time invested in the feasibility analysis phase of a virtualization project.