Click here to close now.


Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, Open Source Cloud, SDN Journal

Containers Expo Blog: Article

Benefits of Virtualization

Six ways virtualization can benefit your small business

Just by its mere name, virtualization conjures up images of expensive, complicated technologies that for the most part only the largest companies can grasp, when in fact there are many benefits that virtualization can bring to small businesses, two being IT efficiency and cost savings.  The likes of VMware Workstation and Oracle's VirtualBox both have brought this technology well within the budgets of small businesses.

The following suggestions will help you gain the most benefit of virtualization within your small business:

Replace unsupported or outdated machines
Sadly we see it happen only too often:  Developers of a particular niche software that you have been enjoying the use of suddenly go out of business, or there is no longer any support available for it.  The original installation files are unobtainable and you (and your software) are left hanging out to dry.

You have options when this happens.  You could choose to continue to run your application and hope for the best, or you could spend valuable funds on purchasing a replacement app.  Better still you could elect to virtualize the entire PC.  With the likes of the free VMware vCenter Converter software you can manage to do this quite easily.  In this way your unsupported software can continue to be used on any laptop or desktop that has adequate RAM and an efficient processer, except now it will be in a virtualized environment.

Virtualize an entire PC using VMware vCenter Converter software

It is only too apparent that running software that is no longer supported is not the most desirable option when you consider security.  It is advisable to ensure that virtual machines (VMs) that contain these apps are always protected by a firewall.

Backup your system
With virtualization, creating a system backup is as simple as creating a "snapshot" of a server into a virtual machine.  This form of backup can be particularly beneficial to your business because it allows you to restore your normal operations quickly and efficiently should you be the victim of a catastrophe, such as a hardware failure.  A virtual machine copy should not be considered a substitute for daily backups of your data being able to access a recent "snapshot" image of your business can greatly minimize downtime, as well as allow you some breathing room to configure replacement physical hardware.  Bear in mind that daily backups of your data will still be required in order to effect a full server restoration.

Provide in-house services
If you have been considering creating a Wiki for in-house use or testing deployment of a Jabber IM within your business' Intranet, virtualization can make this a considerably easier task, and has the added advantage of not clogging up current machines or requiring the purchase of new hardware.  Once the initial trial or deployment has proven successful it is an easy task to transfer the virtual machine onto a virtual server dedicated for that purpose, or expanded quickly with a few simple tweaks of the VM parameters the likes of CPU and RAM allocation.

Support mobility
With the advent of mobile devices business and work tasks can be carried out from virtually any location, but there are times when it is necessary for an employee to have access to a PC-only app while out on the road, or to be able to access websites that are not easily viewable on a small, mobile device.  Being able to connect to workstations located in their offices in a situation as outlined above has been made possible by the likes of Remote Desktop Protocol-clients designed for Android, iOS and Windows RT.

One way to streamline the system for employees requiring access to their desktops from an external location is to set up a virtual machine to serve as the Remote Desktop Protocol host.  It is prudent to ensure that such a VM is configured in such a way that remote users only have access to the services they require, and segregating the work machines in this way provides extra security.

Enhance security
Your business data can be at grave risk of cyber attacks, given the prevalence of such attacks that target Web browsers.  Limiting Web browsing to a virtual environment that is unable to access any sensitive files is an inexpensive solution to combating such attacks.  If by some chance a hacker is able to gain access via a Web browser, any modifications to system files as a result of malware can be quickly erased by undertaking a quick restart provided the virtual machine was booted up in read-only mode.

Distribution of apps without installation
Apps are also capable of being distributed and packaged within a virtual machine image.  This is an effective method of having your preferred apps with you at all times on a flash drive, whether you are at home or work, and carries an added advantage of ensuring your software demo cannot fail due to missing code libraries and / or drivers.  This is also a highly effective way of running several instances of a particular application the likes of Skype or Yahoo Messenger, with individual instances mapped to individual accounts.

More Stories By Jason Williams

Jason Williams is a former Microsoft employee and an expert on virtualization, in particular the Hyper-V platform. You can read more of his content at

Latest Stories
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving t...
In recent years, at least 40% of companies using cloud applications have experienced data loss. One of the best prevention against cloud data loss is backing up your cloud data. In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sam McIntyre, Partner Enablement Specialist at eFolder, presented how organizations can use eFolder Cloudfinder to automate backups of cloud application data. He also demonstrated how easy it is to search and restore cloud application data using Cloudfinder.
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing & protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection & E-Discovery of your data - whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty ...
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Su...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).