Not all businesses are ready to fully transition their company into the cloud yet, and there are reasons to hold on to some legacy systems. But one great way for a business to get its feet wet when it comes to cloud computing is through virtual servers. Virtual servers exist in the cloud; essentially, you work with a service provider for a certain amount of utilization space in their server bank. But if you already have servers on-site, why would you do this?
Keeping IT costs under budget can be challenging, especially as technology evolves. Hardware is expensive, and letting your company fall behind on developments can both leave you vulnerable to cyberattacks and to your competition. Using virtual servers helps you keep costs down while maintaining a high level of service for your customers. You’ll probably also cut down on your electric bill if you’re not running a bank of servers and a climate-controlled room.
Future-planning for your business
Today, your business is one size, but tomorrow, it may be very different. When you use physical servers, choosing to add server banks is expensive. You need new physical servers, you need rooms that are properly temperature-controlled, and in worst-case scenarios, you need to replace your current servers to make sure the new servers will integrate into your environment.
Virtual servers don’t have these limitations. Since they exist in the cloud, getting more server space is often as simple as speaking to your provider. Sometimes you can flex your space up and down. Need more power around the holidays? A good provider can make that happen.
Playing before you pay
Virtual servers have been a go-to tool for developers for years because they can be completely segregated from a company’s primary network. Developers can set up a sandbox environment in a virtual machine where they can test any updates or implementation possibilities without any risk of damaging the primary network or affecting business operations. This can be crucial when developing new applications or network hubs, but it can also be critical when rolling out OS patches or virus software updates. When computers are working with legacy software, it’s difficult to anticipate how newer programs will interact with them. Virtual machines on virtual servers give developers and IT teams a place to double-check their work before the whole company pays for it.
If your company is working on cloud migration, virtual servers are a way to get that started. Some programs are already set up and designed for cloud function, while legacy applications can be more difficult to migrate. Virtual servers can be a way to house legacy applications while other elements undergo migration.
Companies face disasters, whether through cyberattacks, natural disasters, or other complications. Rapid recovery from a disaster is crucial to long-term business survival, and many companies focus on creating a robust disaster recovery plan in order to give their company the best possible chance of survival.
If your business does need to recover from a disaster, one element of doing so is usually retrieving your information from backups. Taking information from storage and then downloading it into your physical servers can be painfully slow; moving it to a virtual server, however, can be much faster. Virtual servers may also mitigate some of the worst downtime possibilities, as well. If you are running evenly-spread applications on several different servers and the power grid goes out in one location, the other servers should be able to continue to spread out the load. The system might run slower, but it shouldn’t stop running at all. That can make all the difference to your customers.
As part of cloud migration, virtual servers are a key computing component of the future.