Virtualization is undoubtedly, a gift to the IT sector, as this process helps divide the physical environment and virtual world. With the help of a powerful virtualization environment, you can run different applications on the same server simultaneously without a hitch. This helps organizations integrate their workstations, systems and servers, which, in turn, helps increase the operational efficiency and reduce the cost.
Since the offerings of cloud computing and virtualization are quite same to a great extent, businesses often get confused regarding what will suit their needs best. Although small businesses usually prefer to rely on cloud computing, it’s undeniable that virtualization ensures greater security and control. This is especially desired by large organizations that deal with sensitive information.
Virtualization is a basic component of cloud computing. Most often, the cloud includes different virtualization products in order to deliver the proper computing services. The major difference between a virtualization software and a hard core cloud environment is that one gets access to self service capability, elasticity, automated management, scalability and pay as you go model.
There are multiple reasons why business owners, across the different industries prefer the virtualization technology. This technology makes the workstations, servers and storage systems completely independent of the physical hardware layer. The technology that is used behind this software is a virtual manager or a virtual machine monitor. This is what helps separate the compute environments from the original physical infrastructure.
If you are associated with a business that belongs to the IT industry, you must be aware of the importance of virtualization. At the same time, cloud computing, too, has become quite popular a concept among the business owners. In fact, it is probably one of the most overused buzz word within the tech industry. However, there is a subtle difference between these two, and before opting for any one of these, it’s important to understand the difference between these. Knowing this, you will be able to understand which will be the most apt solution for your business.
Simply put, virtualization is the technology of creating a virtual version of resources or devices, like storage devices, servers, network or an operating system. The framework basically divides all the resources into one or multiple environments. It separates the physical infrastructure and creates various dedicated resources. A virtualization software makes it possible to run different applications and operating systems on the same server simultaneously. It helps business owners reduce the IT costs as well as improve the flexibility, utilization and efficiency of the computer hardware that they are presently using.
There are many aspects of virtualization and some of them are –
Application virtualization is a software technology that encapsulates application software from the underlying operating system on which it is executed. It appears as if it is directly interfaced and managed by the underlying operating system but can be isolated to varying degrees as per requirements.
Server virtualization refers to the process of masking of server resources, including the number and identity of individual physical servers, processors, and operating systems from the end users. The server administrator uses a virtualization tool to divide or break one physical server into multiple independent virtual servers.
It can be used in tandem with application virtualization to provide a comprehensive desktop management environment.
Application acceleration uses multiple advanced technologies to improve as well as increase application performance and response time over network connections.
WAN optimization refers to a wide array of techniques for increasing data-transfer efficiencies across wide area networks. The various techniques used for the same are de-duplication, compression, latency optimization, caching, forward error protection, protocol spoofing, traffic shaping, equalizing, and connection limits etc.
Most of the embedded systems are built for maximum possible uptime, 100% in most cases and this is why operating system rebooting is often overlooked by most of the business owners. However, it’s important to check what happens if there is an OS crash. We, at Ricoh, ensure that an automatic OS reboot will be performed in case of an OS crash. This doesn’t interfere with any of the other processes and we ensure that it gets handled independently.
We consider the hypervisor or the virtual machine manager (VMM) as an important platform as this allows more than one operating systems to run simultaneously. Basically, we offer two types of hypervisors – hosted and bare metal and the denomination of a VMM is determined by the fact that it’s placed a level above the supervisory program. Even though it seems that there is no major difference in these two types of hypervisors, we know that there is a significant difference in the way the applications are tested and run. Therefore, we enable our customers to choose any of these two, based on their exact business requirements.
No matter which type of hypervisor you opt for, mainly there are three virtualization processes and you must choose the right one for your business. One of these three methods is based on the process of binary hypervisor translation. This method allows more than one operating systems to run simultaneously, without any sort of conflicts. On the contrary, if you decide to use hypervisors with hardware assist, you will have to opt for embedded CPU virtualization so that the control is automatically passed, whenever required. The third method is known as paravirtualization. This ensures better performance than the other two methods since this interacts with the hypervisor directly, via an application programming interface. At Ricoh, we offer all three types of virtualization so that our clients can opt for whatever they need.