For people who are unfamiliar with the concept, virtual machines are emulations of physical computers, meaning that they possess the same capabilities even though they exist as nothing but data with no physical components to them whatsoever. As a result, it should come as no surprise to learn that virtual servers are virtual machines created for the purpose of hosting websites, which provides them with a number of intriguing possibilities that cannot be found from other web hosting options.
Server virtualization allows to run more than one virtual server or machine on a single piece of hardware. It allows you to reduce capital and operating costs, minimize downtime, increase the speed and ease with which you can deliver services, minimizes downtime, makes it easier to do data back-ups, and simpliﬁes server management.
There are a few different paths you can virtualize your server environment. First is within your premises by running more than one machine (with any OS you wish) on a single piece of server hardware, another is cloud virtualization.
We have experience with both paths including experience with VMWare.
Virtual cloud servers are available from many providers. Firewall has extensive experience with virtual servers from AWS [Amazon Web Services], Azure [Microsoft], and Google. Each service provider has particular strengths, depending on your computing, storage, security, geography, redundancy and regulatory and compliance requirements. Firewall will guide you through the process of ﬁnding the best solution for your needs.
Why Should You Consider Virtual Servers?
Here are some of the characteristics of virtual servers that stand out from other web hosting options:
- Each virtual server possesses its own OS, its own software, and it’s own security systems that are separate from those of the other virtual servers stored on the same medium. As a result, a virtual server can be customized for a particular client’s needs and circumstances instead of having to suit a wide range of clients with a wide range of needs and circumstances.
- Since each virtual server is separate from the other virtual servers, its computing resources are not shared, meaning that its user has no need to be concerned about potential problems for their website because of high traffic to other websites stored on the same server. However, it is important to note that misallocation of computing resources can occur, meaning that said individuals should still exercise an appropriate level of care and caution when it comes to their web hosting.
- On a related note, each virtual server has its own security systems, meaning that its user can secure their web hosting in a manner of their choosing while having peace of mind from knowing that their websites won’t be compromised by the carelessness of others. Better still, the nature of virtual servers means that professional assistance tends to be available within no more than a short period of time when the need comes up, which is not something that can be said about their counterparts with physical existence.
- Virtual servers have no physical existence, meaning that their users can access them through the Internet instead of having to head into their physical offices. This is particularly true for virtual servers stored on cloud networks, which are famous for their reliability as a result of their redundancy.
What Are the Different Kinds of Virtualization?
With that said, it is important to note that there are different kinds of virtualization, meaning that interested individuals should make sure to choose the one that is right for them:
- Full virtualization is the setup that comes to mind for most people when virtual machines are mentioned. As a result, all or almost all of the hardware is emulated, meaning that software can run unmodified on such systems.
- Partial virtualization stops short of full virtualization in that there are separate spaces but the hardware that enables them to remain the same from space to space. This means that users will not have their own OSes, but should be able to have their own software.
- Paravirtualization is interesting in that the virtual machine is aware of its nature as a virtual machine, which is not true of full virtualization. As a result, the use of paravirtualization can provide performance benefits as the emulated OS issues its requests to the host OS rather than the emulated hardware, though this means that some software will have to be modified for use on such systems.
- Hardware-assisted virtualization is similar to full virtualization save that its CPU has been optimized for supporting virtual machines, which means superior performance while still providing the same benefits as full virtualization.
Interested in learning more about virtual servers? Please contact us as soon as time permits for the answers to these as well as other IT-related questions.