Welcome!

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Replace unsupported or outdated machines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 HyperVBlog.com.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of 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. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
As software becomes more and more complex, we, as software developers, have been splitting up our code into smaller and smaller components. This is also true for the environment in which we run our code: going from bare metal, to VMs to the modern-day Cloud Native world of containers, schedulers and micro services. While we have figured out how to run containerized applications in the cloud using schedulers, we've yet to come up with a good solution to bridge the gap between getting your contain...
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Ca...
"We host and fully manage cloud data services, whether we store, the data, move the data, or run analytics on the data," stated Kamal Shannak, Senior Development Manager, Cloud Data Services, IBM, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Information technology (IT) advances are transforming the way we innovate in business, thereby disrupting the old guard and their predictable status-quo. It’s creating global market turbulence. Industries are converging, and new opportunities and threats are emerging, like never before. So, how are savvy chief information officers (CIOs) leading this transition? Back in 2015, the IBM Institute for Business Value conducted a market study that included the findings from over 1,800 CIO interviews ...
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
Niagara Networks exhibited at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which took place at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, in November 2016. Niagara Networks offers the highest port-density systems, and the most complete Next-Generation Network Visibility systems including Network Packet Brokers, Bypass Switches, and Network TAPs.
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, introduced the technologies required for implementing these idea...
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
Apache Hadoop is emerging as a distributed platform for handling large and fast incoming streams of data. Predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and Internet-of-Things analysis are examples where Hadoop provides the scalable storage, processing, and analytics platform to gain meaningful insights from granular data that is typically only valuable from a large-scale, aggregate view. One architecture useful for capturing and analyzing streaming data is the Lambda Architecture, represent...
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. 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 June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...