Top 10 Best Virtualization Solutions for Businesses
Author: Gabriel Bujold
The central goal of all businesses in all sectors is to achieve incremental profitability and growth. However, since there is a fundamental relationship between capital, investment, and labor, an ever-increasing number of small to midsize businesses are adopting virtualization to reduce expenses, improve business continuity and make operations more responsive.
So, What Is Virtualization?
Before we get ahead of ourselves, virtualization is essentially a concept where computing resources are hidden and the intricacies of their implementation from end-users, for benefits like security, optimization, consolidation.
Principally, virtualization is typically performed to enable multiple virtual instances (virtual machines) to run on a single hardware to provide the advantage of each virtual instance appearing like a discrete hardware for the basic software that runs on top of it. Simply put, virtualization employs unique software to simulate the existence of hardware, and thus, create a virtual computer.
Generally, virtualization is segmented into two verticals:
- Hardware Virtualization: Where the resources are, for example, processor cores, memory, and storage.
- Software Virtualization: Where software layers are ‘virtualized’ through dedicated software.
Why Virtualization Solutions Are Important for Businesses
Before virtualization, if a business wanted to run an application, they’d buy a server, install an operating system(OS) on it, then run the application. However, this posed several limitations whenever companies desired to run multiple applications separately.
With virtualization, organizations can run the same application workloads (and much more), without buying additional servers, or upgrading the multiple servers already purchased. This results in savings of space, energy costs, and cooling costs. In addition, with fewer servers racked-and-stacked, and there are fewer components that can fail, which translates to savings on labor since fewer administrators are needed.
Types of Virtualization
Principally, there are three main types of virtualization:
1. Storage Virtualization
This virtualization type revolves around representing one or more storage devices as a virtual device.
2. Network Virtualization
This focuses on creating virtual interfaces made out of physical interfaces.
3. Server & Desktop Virtualization
This virtualization approach deals with running multiple operating systems on a specific server.
Best Virtualization Solutions for Businesses
Storage Virtualization Solutions
Microsoft facilitates storage virtualization via Windows Hyper-V Server 2019. In practice, it enables virtualization through the file and storage services in Windows Server, supports the creation of storage tiers while also automating the writing of frequently read storage blocks on solid-state storage devices. Its other notable features are: offloaded data transfer, Live Storage Migration, resilient file system, Hyper-V Replica, and Hyper-V Recovery Manager.
Oracle offers storage virtualization services that enable sharing of storage repositories between server pools as storage is mapped to virtual machines through a robust user interface. In addition, it offers Oracle VM Storage Connect for flexible management of virtual environments, and an abstraction layer through which admins can easily provide resources efficiently.
IBM is a leading IT infrastructure vendor that offers storage virtualization solutions such as the SAN Volume Controller with IBM Spectrum Virtualize software to improve the flexibility of storage infrastructures and data economics. Their flagship product delivers a single point of control to offer high availability, storage resource utilization, centralized management, uninterrupted data migration, instant recovery from disk backups, and interoperability.
IBM also delivers Tivoli Storage Manager, a storage management tool for virtual storage environments to protect VMware and Hyper-V storage virtual machines. This product provides snapshots of virtual machines, simplifies virtual machine backups, and enables VMware vCloud Director to consolidate workloads for ease of management into single systems to achieve improved performance, scalability, and high availability via reduced costs.
Fujitsu’s FalconStor NSS product is a highly scalable and available solution that enables storage virtualization and business continuity in disparate environments. Principally, FalconStor NSS eradicates storage boundaries, vendor lock-in, delivers fast and easy data provisioning, mirroring, migration, automated disaster recovery and snapshots.
Network Virtualization Solutions
5- Cisco Enterprise Network Functions Virtualization
This is a Cisco-powered solution for the deployment and management of virtual networks. In practice, this tool aims to make localized enterprise operations easier by reducing hosting hardware and moving networking functions to software on x86-based platforms.
As such, this solution enables enterprise network admins to monitor network problems all in one place, while also delivering additional resources to orchestrate and manage services to increase the speed of incident response.
6- Microsoft’s Azure Virtual Network
Microsoft Azure Virtual Network enables users to gain granular control over network traffic, create hybrid infrastructures, and curate secure, isolated network topographies to run virtual machines and applications.
7- The SolarWinds Virtualization Manager
SolarWinds Virtualization Manager acts as strong support for hypervisor management, virtual machine monitoring, and troubleshooting. In general, it doesn’t aid in the migration or initial launch of network tools in virtual environments, but is focused on virtual network performance management, mainly via its single-panel data visualizations and unique analytics customizations.
This solution is typically integrated with the SolarWinds Orion Platform, which can be helpful for users who also need additional storage resource monitoring, virtualization management, and network performance monitoring.
Server & Desktop Virtualization
8- V2 Cloud
V2 Cloud is principally a desktop virtualization software that facilitates remote work and manages published applications on a centralized platform for small and medium businesses. In practice, admins can employ V2 Cloud to minimize potential data breaches by enforcing security policies like two-factor authentication, ransomware protection, and even HTTPS encryption.
Businesses can also use V2 Cloud to automatically backup vital data, easily manage logins, install multiple applications on the virtual machines, configure different access permissions for employees, conduct video conferences, and securely share documents with remote teams, improving collaboration
Read more: Why Do You Need Cloud Desktop
Citrix Workspace Cloud delivers server and desktop virtualization, networking, Cloud, application using the software-as-a-service model. It mainly enables users to work and connect remotely, regardless of device or network via various products like VDI-in-a-Box, which offers scalable desktop virtualization that is easy to deploy and manage, at an affordable cost.
A leader in the virtualization industry, VMware’s solutions help businesses to protect users’ data and applications, at an affordable cost.
For example, VMware vSphere Essentials Plus provides an all-in-one solution for organizations to virtualize their physical servers and reduce hardware costs while also ensuring superior high application availability and data protection across the business.
All things considered, virtualization isn’t only about reducing expenses and resource requirements but can also make your organization more agile, robust, and responsive to evolving economic conditions and opportunities.
Besides staying ahead of the competition and responding to customers’ needs, virtualization helps businesses survive in disaster recovery situations. For instance, V2 Cloud offers a cloud disaster recovery module that enables admins to capture, store, and retrieve copies of virtual computer disks with details, including date and description.
So, consider using virtualization to separate desktop environments and associated application software from the physical client devices used to access them.