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Virtualization: Distributed Resources

Updated: May 22, 2019

By Tom Goodwin

A principal benefit from virtualization is the improved utilization of resources and greater efficiency for saving costs. As has been noted in this series, virtualization can make better use of existing server hardware, thus reducing hardware expenditures when IT changes are needed. However, virtualization provides benefits to organizations beyond cost savings. What if we consider the enhancement of business outcomes? This is where distributed resources as a part of virtualization comes into play.

The features and benefits of distributed resources from virtualization is manifested in different forms, as discussed in the following examples:

Replication and Disaster Recovery

Using virtualization to create duplicate instances of an application allows for the creation of a backup version of the application in case the primary version fails. Virtualization allows for running of backup instances in cross server environment, without the capital outlay of additional servers. The figure below shows how this can be accomplished.

If disaster recovery is also a consideration beyond replication, then geographical separation between the servers provides an effective preparation for disaster recovery.

Hybrid Environments

If scaling up your storage is the main function of virtualization, then creating separate storage in a new virtual machine is recommended, and resources can be added as needs increase. However, organizations and enterprises that start with this type of on-premise storage may find that their needs rapidly change, and they require increased speed and flexibility with their growth. This is especially the case for organizations that are storing and analyzing data. When this happens, it becomes more efficient to move into a hybrid environment, placing the stored data in a hosted cloud environment. In a hosted environment storage can be quickly expanded without purchasing additional hardware. Cloud storage is usually as or more secure than on-premise storage, and no increases of in-house resources are needed to maintain security.

Saving Physical Space

The benefits of reducing IT hardware are apparent with regard to office space-saving considerations. Fewer servers translates into increased floor space, which can be re-purposed for functions such as production space, meeting rooms, or workspaces. If enough footprint is reduced, downsizing the facility could also be an option. How much space you open up will depend on the extent of virtualization and the capacity of the equipment you use.

Distributed Computing – Full Hosted Environments

Once an organization is working in a hybrid environment, it is a relatively small step to move into a fully hosted environment. In the hosted environment, computing resources can be distributed to attain greater efficiencies. As an example, the HigherGround Platform can be hosted in the AWS environment. In this application, the main process software is hosted on an Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instance, the database is hosted on a Relational Database Service (RDS) instance, and the media is hosted on a Simple Storage Service (S3) instance. In this hosted environment, each instance is optimized to required computational resources, and overall efficiency is elevated over a traditional on-premise environment.

It should be noted that realizing advantages for computing with distributed resources involves essential capacity planning. Even with better utilization of resources and improved efficiencies, there are limitations to server resources. In a future blog, we will examine capacity planning to prevent any surprises after implementation of your virtualization.

Share your comments with us on virtualization and distributed resources. We would love to hear from you!

About the Author - Tom Goodwin is the Vice President of Marketing at HigherGround. His background in telecommunications and data networking has been augmented with work in data analytics and automated reporting prior to joining HigherGround. Click here for more information on Tom and the rest of the HigherGround team!​

HigherGround, Inc. provides best-in-class, reliable data capture and interaction storage solutions that enable clients to easily retrieve critical information. Our interaction recording and incident reconstruction solutions transform data into actionable intelligence, allowing optimization of operations, enhanced performance, and cost reduction.

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