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August 09, 2012

Virtualization Q&A with Kevin Greenway

Continuing our new series of ‘what is’ articles, Kevin Greenway, Managing Director of 10ZiG, answers some of those questions that customers have been asking in order to gain a better understanding of our key products and services.

As one of the fastest emerging thin client, cloud and virtualization specialists, one of our aims is to always explain our products and technologies to our customers and not assume that everyone has equal levels of ability and knowledge. This month’s piece sees us looking into virtualization.

What is virtualization?

Virtualization (or UK spelling: virtualisation) is the creation of a virtual, rather than actual, or real version of something, such as an operating system, a hardware platform, a server, a storage device or network resources. As the name suggests, virtualization saves space, as well as money and energy.

What are the main types of virtualization?

Server virtualization – perhaps the most commonly used, the server’s hardware is virtualized, which allows the user to run different operating systems simultaneously on the same hardware.

Desktop virtualization – otherwise known as VDI or virtual desktop infrastructure, is a way of hosting a desktop operating system (such as Microsoft Windows and Linux) on a centralised or remote server. The clients’ data, as well as desktop image, is managed within a Virtual Machine. Desktop virtualization software lets you access your desktop operating system, via a thin client, as if it is on your computer. Examples of software providers include Citrix, VMWare, Microsoft, Red Hat and Quest.

Other key types of virtualization include software virtualization, memory virtualization, storage virtualization, data virtualization and network virtualization.

Why would I move to virtualization?

There a number of questions to ask and take into account before moving your organisation onto a virtualized environment. These include:

Will virtualization save me money? Yes, virtualization can offer significant cost savings. The combined cost of virtualized servers and zero client/thin client hardware is around 70% less than the cost of physical servers and desktop/laptop computers. Server virtualization reduces the number of servers that you run – this means saving money on hardware costs, as well as the energy bills needed to run the hardware and provide fan cooling.

Desktop virtualization also reduces the size and number of components typically required to run Desktop PC’s, such as hard drives/DVD drives/fans. Instead desktop virtualization utilises thin clients which are a low-cost alternative, which have no moving parts and run applications centrally within a data centre or the cloud.

Virtualization would also mean that system administrators would not have to support large numbers of machines, freeing them up to concentrate on more strategic administration tasks.

Does virtualization have any negative effects on the environment? Through virtualization it is possible to reduce the carbon footprint at a desktop from 100-150 watts per device to an average of 12 watts. Effects on the environment are greatly reduced – in a huge worldwide computer network, if everyone turned to virtualization, the resulting energy savings would mean that fewer power plants would need to be built.

Is software installation made quicker and/or easier? Yes – Most of the traditional installation and configuration work associated with software will disappear as software vendors tend to deliver their products pre-installed in virtual machines.

Who do I go to for my virtualization needs?

10ZiG actively seeks out and maintains partnerships with the best technology companies in the world in order to provide the best software and virtualization services. These partners include Citrix, VMWare, Microsoft, IBM,2X, Red Hat, SecMaker, Virtual Bridges, Teradici, Quest, Parallels and Ericom.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of virtualization, or require any further information on how 10ZiG Technology Ltd can help your business, then please don’t hesitate to call us on 01509 276252 or email:sales@10zig.eu.