Business use of virtualization is increasing across all sectors. Far from just being confined to enterprise realms that deal specifically with technology, virtualization is a mode of functionality that’s being adopted by all industries, from healthcare and retail to insurance and education. The widespread push toward virtualization is a largely positive move for any organization that undertakes it. Among the benefits of pursuing virtual, cloud-based solutions are lowered operational costs, increased scalability, better company cohesion, and a higher level of enterprise adaptability.
Unfortunately, these benefits aren’t without potential speed bumps as well. A virtual infrastructure brings with it a new set of maintenance challenges, including the need for increased network visibility. When organizations pursue a virtual solution without considering the potential issues that may arise, they risk not being able to maximize their push towards virtualization. To ensure companies get the most out of their cloud-based solutions, they need to pursue a more forward-thinking method of virtualizing their network.
Benefits of Virtualization
All the cloud headlines out there seem to illuminate a single truth: the virtual sphere is quickly becoming the primary sphere for business. Far from being a movement of the future, virtual networking is something that’s spreading in the present—in many ways, it’s become the organizational standard. It’s not just the case for larger enterprises, but for small-to-medium businesses as well. Small enterprise moves toward virtualization are tracing a steep incline, with things like server virtualization achieving notable popularity among businesses with 50-100 employees.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise—virtualization is great for all business. Among the benefits businesses reap when they pursue this solution are:
Easier Disaster Recovery
For many companies, a data-related disaster isn’t just a burden—it can threaten to derail the organization entirely. For smaller-scale operations, the odds of a disaster leading to the end of an organization are even higher. It’s imperative that enterprises find a way to reduce the possibility of this kind of event, and a virtualized infrastructure is one way to do this, as Paul Mah of CIO points out. “Baking up a fully virtualized infrastructure by making copies of [virtual machine] file images is a far easier process than trying to do the same with disparate hardware servers,” Mah states. “Moreover, it takes just a fraction of the original hardware equipment to host an entire infrastructure using virtualization.”
Lower Operational Costs
The fact that virtualization-based backups use only a small portion of the hardware their legacy infrastructure counterparts use points to another key advantage of virtualization: reduced costs. A move to a virtual-based network eliminates the need for the kind of hardware that’s part of a legacy network. And it’s not just that businesses are relieved of the costs of updating this equipment—it’s that the absence of this equipment saves space, which is another direct source of monetary savings. By migrating from legacy, equipment-based solutions to virtual ones, businesses enjoy the type of cost-cutting consolidation that allows funds to be channeled into more business-critical tasks.
A More Efficient Workforce
Virtualization speeds up business processes so that workers can engage in more constructive activities. For instance, IT departments are no longer encumbered by the day-to-day tasks of maintaining a hardware-dominated infrastructure once a business transitions to virtual, and this frees up their time and allows them to devote attention to efforts that will actually advance the organization.
The Impact of Virtualization on Network Management
Because virtualization signals a tidal shift in networking, it should come as no surprise that it’s changing the way business manage their networks. This adaptation is one that every company leveraging virtual tools must make, but it is also inherently challenging. That’s because, as IT Business Edge reports, the introduction of virtualization into a business infrastructure “adds another layer of abstraction between hardware and applications and data.”
These days, company networks can be spread across a huge expanse of physical space and contaion a number of different devices. While this is beneficial in terms of how far business can extend, it presents a clear challenge in terms of oversight. Virtual networks bring with them a higher standard of network monitoring, and to reap the full benefits of virtualization without being held back by its potentially overwhelming nature, IT departments need to maintain a comprehensive map of their network—one that operates in real time.
A Solution: Intermapper
Intermapper is a robust monitoring solution for the business networks of today. Designed to provide IT environments with mapping, alerting, monitoring and other virtual network resources, Intermapper is the tool that provides users with the up-to-date, comprehensive view of their network that they require. Is your network experiencing significant congestion without a solution in place? Do you have thousands of devices in your network that are hard to keep track of? These are challenging scenarios that Intermapper makes easy, which is why it's an industry-leading product in the broad move toward virtualized networking.
Across the world, there are around 25,000 active network managers harnessing Intermapper at this moment. They do it for the features that it provides—including real-time network views, traffic monitoring for all devices, and customized network maps—and the ease with which it provides them.
Virtualization should be something that organizations benefit from, however the networking challenges inherent in the process make it a burden for some businesses. It doesn't need to be a burden for any business when you have the right network monitoring solution in place. Learn how all organizations can experience the full rewards of virtualization with strong network oversight with Intermapper.