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Replace unsupported or outdated machines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
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain.
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory?
The Internet giants are fully embracing AI. All the services they offer to their customers are aimed at drawing a map of the world with the data they get. The AIs from these companies are used to build disruptive approaches that cannot be used by established enterprises, which are threatened by these disruptions. However, most leaders underestimate the effect this will have on their businesses. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rene Buest, Director Market Research & Technology Evangelism at Ara...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, will introduce two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a mu...
Trying to improve density, lower costs and run applications faster than before? Today, enterprises looking for a secure cloud strategy are increasingly turning to container-based Platform as a Service solutions for on-premises hosted DevOps. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alise Cashman Spence, Offering Manager, Power Systems Cloud Solutions at IBM, will discuss the driving factors behind these cloud trends and how IBM customers are realizing exceptional performance, security and control for ...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...
"When we talk about cloud without compromise what we're talking about is that when people think about 'I need the flexibility of the cloud' - it's the ability to create applications and run them in a cloud environment that's far more flexible,” explained Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SourceForge has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SourceForge is the largest, most trusted destination for Open Source Software development, collaboration, discovery and download on the web serving over 32 million viewers, 150 million downloads and over 460,000 active development projects each and every month.
"NetApp's vision is how we help organizations manage data - delivering the right data in the right place, in the right time, to the people who need it, and doing it agnostic to what the platform is," explained Josh Atwell, Developer Advocate for NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
What You Need to Know You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technolog...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
One of the biggest challenges with adopting a DevOps mentality is: new applications are easily adapted to cloud-native, microservice-based, or containerized architectures - they can be built for them - but old applications need complex refactoring. On the other hand, these new technologies can require relearning or adapting new, oftentimes more complex, methodologies and tools to be ready for production. In his general session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, Solutions Marketi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Nihon Micron will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Nihon Micron Co., Ltd. strives for technological innovation to establish high-density, high-precision processing technology for providing printed circuit board and metal mount RFID tags used for communication devices. For more inf...