The computing power of a typical server has grown so fast that it is now very unusual for a physical server to be dedicated to a single application. Virtualisation has enabled literally dozens of servers to run on a small cluster of physical hosts. This provides many benefits:
- Better hardware utilisation
- Flexible resource management
- Improved service resilience and business continuity
- Reduced power consumption and hosting costs
All aspects of the computing environment: compute, memory, storage and networking can now be virtualised, liberating the infrastructure from physical hardware constraints. This has brought high-level resilience and high-availability within the reach of small and medium sized organisations.
Shared Storage and HCI
Shared storage is a critical component of the virtual infrastructure, enabling virtual machines to migrate across hosts. Shared storage has been primarily implemented using Storage Area Network (SAN) technology, where storage is a dedicated subsystem separate from the compute platform. However, the relatively high capital costs of the hardware has limited proliferation of virtualised infrastructure in entry-level environments. In order to address this various suppliers have developed “Virtual SAN” solutions that enable as few as two traditional server machines with local storage to share that storage as if it were a SAN, thereby saving the cost of dedicated hardware.
This approach is also gaining momentum in the context of high-end systems. A dedicated SAN could actually present a performance bottleneck. The term Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) has been applied to the approach of interconnecting servers with local storage which is pooled over network connections through software. In some cases this is achieving better scalability than the dedicated SAN approach.
VMware vSphere is the market and technology leading virtualised infrastructure solution. As a VMware Professional Partner with in-house VMware Certified Professional (VCP) skills we are equipped to design, implement and support your virtualisation project.
For more information see our VMware site.
Microsoft Hyper-V has is the fastest growing market share of the virtualised infrastructure market and in some technology areas is moving ahead of VMware. As a Microsoft Partner with in-house Microsoft Professionals (MCP) we are equipped to design, implement and support Hyper-V solutions.
Veeam Backup & Replication
Veeam Backup & Replication is the market leading data protection solution for virtualised infrastructures. Featuring full integration with VMware vStorage API and Microsoft Hyper-V it provides high speed backup and replication that fully exploits the efficiencies of virtual infrastructures.
For more information see our Veeam site.