5 virtualization tools for enterprise businesses


Enterprise businesses can implement virtualization through a wide array of tools, from servers to hardware and everything in-between. Understanding the functions and benefits of these tools is the first step for selecting the right virtualization strategy for your business. When it comes to virtualization systems and designs, there are five areas where these tools can be used:

  • Applications
  • Operating Systems
  • Hardware
  • Servers
  • Storage

Now that’s not to say that the trick is to virtualize everything! In truth, it’s having the right combination of these five elements in the cloud and on-premises that is the key to creating a well-balanced IT structure for your company.

Virtualization applications

The first level of virtualization which many people use is at the application level. Consider email applications — people have been using virtual email systems such as Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo for years, long before business virtualization became popular. Google Docs took virtual apps to the next level for the average user by providing word processing, presentation and spreadsheet apps on the cloud. Critical enterprise apps such as databases and CRMs can be virtualized for remote access, easily upgrading, and quick retrieval during a disaster. Virtual applications can also reduce the licensing costs associated with software, and help ensure that your business is always running the latest versions.

Operating system virtualization

Operating system virtualization is the next step for enterprise level cloud computing. Here the operating system is stored on a server, copies of which are provided to individual users. Having a virtual OS enables organizations to provide one OS to multiple users, along with limiting the amount of hardware resources required for operations. Overall, this increases financial efficiencies for a company by maximizing the utilization of the hardware. There are also considerable disaster recovery benefits from adopting OS virtualization as the OS is not locked to a specific piece of hardware, this allows for a quick recovery in the event of a failure.

Server virtualization

Running virtual servers is a good way to reduce IT costs. Because virtual machines are often able to host multiple servers in one location, the costs of purchasing and maintaining physical servers on-premise can be significantly reduced. Dell and VMWare have created an integrated solution to provide server virtualization services for all types of enterprise businesses. The transformation to a cloud infrastructure can shift the workload off your servers, leaving your IT department to focus on more critical tasks.

Storage virtualization

Data centers have become popular for providing affordable virtual storage solutions along with disaster recovery options. This might sound new and intimidating, but it’s likely you’ve already used some form of storage virtualization already. Even inexperienced users have been quick to realize the benefits and adopt solutions like Dropbox, but enterprise level solutions for data centers are readily available as well.

There are also various virtual storage structures, including private, public, mixed and community cloud solutions. It’s important to note, that a wide range of approaches results in many different blends of performance, features, price, scalability and resiliency etc. Therefore the pros and cons of these different options will need to be weighed to select which one is the most suitable for your business.

Hardware virtualization

To implement any of the above virtualization techniques, hardware virtualization is used. Processors, memory and other resources are shared across the system with users, who are then able to access the functions from their remote locations. Cross communication between various systems — such as a Windows PC using a virtual Linux system — are also often implemented to obtain the benefits of both.

Read about the top 3 things you need to know about server virtualization here at Tech Page One.

What combinations of virtualization tools and structures are you planning or already using for your enterprise business? We’d love to hear what works for you and any advice that you may have for others!

Richard Nicholson

Richard Nicholson

Dell Contributor at Tech Page One
Richard Nicholson is Dell's enterprise marketing manager and giving manager for the UK. He is responsible for conveying the benefits of Dell's datacenter solutions and strategy including storage, converged infrastructure and Big Data solutions. He is an advocate of B2B social media and manages @DellUK’s twitter & YouTube channels and tweets for @DellInsideTrack.
Richard Nicholson
Richard Nicholson
Tags: Technology,Virtualization