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Friday, October 18th, 2013

5 business functions to virtualize

Posted on: October 18th, 2013 by
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Virtualization_Oct16_BOne of the more popular tech related trends is taking physical systems and migrating or switching them for a virtual version - or virtualization, as it's more commonly referred to. Virtualization has many benefits for businesses, but many small businesses are unsure as to what solutions they can actually migrate into the digital realm. If you need some ideas as to how your small business can leverage virtualization then here are five ways to do so: 1. Simplify IT processes As business grow they inevitably introduce new technology and systems that need to be installed and maintained. Because many small companies don't have actual IT departments, or rely on a small number of staff, their resources are stretched even thinner, resulting in even greater potential tech problems. By virtualizing systems, these can be easier to look after by either an IT partner or in-house teams. This will also free up resources which can be diverted to more business specific tasks. Combine virtualization with an IT partner and your IT becomes even easier to manage, largely because you won't have to. 2. Enhance security Cyber attacks are on the rise, and have always been a problem which many companies struggle to deal with or prevent. Virtualizing some systems, like the desktop or even Web browsing, could limit the chance of infection and malware attacks. Take for example a read-only virtualized desktop, where you log in and are presented with a copy of the OS that can only be read. Files created or downloaded normally won't be saved. Continue reading the story "5 business functions to virtualize"
Friday, July 19th, 2013

Define: 4 types of virtualization

Posted on: July 19th, 2013 by
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define VirtualizationTechnical devices and systems are some of the most important business tools used on a daily basis by owners, managers and employees. While technology is constantly advancing, many businesses struggle to afford to update their technology on a regular basis, instead choosing to make do with their existing tech. It is largely because of this cost prohibition that virtualization has become so popular. Virtualization is the moving of physical systems to a virtual environment, which is usually located off-site, and connected to over the Internet. There are many benefits to virtualization, including lower costs and extended life of your technology, which has made it a popular option with small to medium sized businesses. If you have looked into virtualization, you may know that there are numerous types. Here are four.

Operating system virtualization

Operating system (OS) virtualization is the movement of a desktop's main operating system into a virtual environment. The computer you use remains on your desk but the operating system is hosted on a server elsewhere. Usually, there is one version on the server and copies of that individual OS are presented to each user. Users can then modify the OS as they wish, without other users being affected.

Server virtualization

Server virtualization is the moving of existing physical servers into a virtual environment, which is then hosted on a physical server. Many modern servers are able to host more than one server simultaneously, which allows you to reduce the number of servers you have in your company, thus reducing your Continue reading the story "Define: 4 types of virtualization"
Friday, June 21st, 2013

7 popular virtualization terms

Posted on: June 21st, 2013 by
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Virtualization TermsWhen it comes to technology, there are many things you and your business can do to help get the most out of what you have. One option at your disposal is to virtualize - move your physical systems to a virtual one. Virtualization has become a popular way for small businesses to do more with less. The problem is, it can be complicated, especially because of the terms professionals use. Here are seven commonly used hardware virtualization terms and what they mean. 1. Host machine The host machine, sometimes referred to as the host VM, is the actual machine that the software/hardware lives on. This is usually a physical server, that may or may not be housed in your office, which provides the processing power, disk drives, memory, etc to create a virtual version of a platform, usually an operating system. 2. Guest machine Guest machines, sometimes referred to as guest VMs, are the virtual machines, or versions of the physical software. When a user accesses their guest machine, they are shown their own version of what is on the host machine. Many guest machines can use the software or operating systems as if it was on their physical computer. To many users, there is still a computer on their desk, just the software and computing resources/hardware are hosted elsewhere. The vast majority of guest machines connect to the host via an Internet connection. 3. Hypervisor The Hypervisor is the software that allows the host machine to create a virtual version that the guest machine can Continue reading the story "7 popular virtualization terms"
Friday, May 24th, 2013

Virtualization: 5 benefits you may enjoy

Posted on: May 24th, 2013 by
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VirtualizationComputers are continually increasing in power. In fact, such is the weight of this pattern of hardware power doubling in power every two years that it even has it's own phrase to acknowledge this observation: Moore's Law. While processing power may be going from strength to strength, the fact is that many businesses struggle, or simply cannot keep up with the changes; it's just too costly. This is one reason why the idea of virtualization can be appealing to many company owners and managers. Virtualization is the act of taking an existing system, say a server, and creating a virtual copy of it that is hosted either in a physical unit or somewhere out of the office. Some systems you can virtualize include: Desktops, Operating Systems, servers, hardware and storage. Most small businesses start with storage and server virtualization as this can usually be done with relative ease and at an affordable cost.

Benefits of virtualization

The question many business owners ask when they are looking into virtualization is what benefits it can bring. While the positives are numerous, here are the five most common: 1. Reduced space Physical hardware can take up a lot of space, and the common trend among many businesses is that the space available per person is shrinking in order to save costs. Take for example your servers. If you virtualize these, you can probably fit all of them onto one or two units. This will reduce the space your hardware takes up, freeing up extra storage capacity or Continue reading the story "Virtualization: 5 benefits you may enjoy"
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Why You Should Use Virtual Desktops

Posted on: April 23rd, 2013 by
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Desktop Virtualization is starting to gain the attention of more and more businesses with its promise of simplifying IT management, strengthening IT security, and ultimately gaining new efficiencies and cost savings in the business. Read on to find out how. There is growing interest in Desktop Virtualization with its promise of improved manageability, security and efficiency for the business. Simply put, Desktop Virtualization is new technology that separates the system software such as the operating system and applications from the underlying hardware. Desktop virtualization allows the hardware, like a laptop or a server, to run multiple operating systems. Imagine having your Mac running Microsoft Windows and Office, or your Dell running OS X and GarageBand for example. To stretch the concept even further, operating systems and applications can be housed on remote machines – such as a server farm in Texas – which you access via the web. The applications are not resident on your computer at all. Desktop virtualization shifts the burden of managing the system software from you or your in-house IT teams to someone else—people who can do a better job managing and updating your Windows and Office software than you can. If you have a fairly large organization managing a large number of machines, centralizing support allows the organization to gain from economies of scale—ie less people to manage more machines at less cost. Leveraging the computing power of server farms with faster machines also allows employees to get more value out of aging desktops and laptops. Enabling anytime, anywhere access to applications and data, Desktop Continue reading the story "Why You Should Use Virtual Desktops"
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Incredible Cost Savings with Virtualization

Posted on: April 23rd, 2013 by
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Virtualization. Many business owners know exactly what it is and what their companies are doing in regard to it. Whether your company has virtualized some or all of your business, it’s evident that there are cost savings. A recent report found that some organizations have achieved up to 269% return on investment from the process. Read on to learn how.

What is Virtualization?

Virtualization is the creation of a virtual computing environment, where one hardware system can run multiple virtual environments. Common types of virtualization include servers, storage devices, or networks. The benefits of virtualization include lower costs, improved IT management, and reduced energy consumption. The Survey A report published by CDW-G focuses on government organizations in the United Sates. Many SME owners and managers like yourselves are probably asking, “How do study results involving the government help my business?” Well, if you look closer you can see that what the government organizations did can easily be replicated by SMEs, just on a smaller scale. Results In recent years, many companies have had to tighten their belts due to economic difficulties. Government agencies are no exception. The results of the survey found that agencies and organizations realized investment returns as high as 134 to 269%. The survey found that if IT managers invest in Server Virtualization, Document Management, Storage Virtualization, and Cloud Computing in that order, the returns on Server Virtualization alone can help pay for, if not totally cover the cost of, the other three processes. CDW-G found that on average, the total cost of implementing all four separately is over Continue reading the story "Incredible Cost Savings with Virtualization"
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

SMEs can benefit from virtualization

Posted on: April 23rd, 2013 by
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Server-Virtualization1Computers and other devices have done nothing but get faster, giving businesses the ability to move traditional functions onto the computer. This move saved companies untold amounts of money and made employees more productive. The new trend is to move these now “physical” elements into a more virtual environment, a trend called virtualization. In technical circles, the process of virtualization is the creation of a virtual copy of something actual like a server, network or storage device. Virtualization allows one device to run as more than one device. Running Windows on your Mac, or partitioning a physical hard drive into smaller sections that each act as a separate hard drive are examples of virtualization. In general, there are four types of virtualization:
  1. Operating System virtualization. Running more than one operating system on the same device.
  2. Server virtualization. Running more than one server on the same physical server.
  3. Storage virtualization. Linking together multiple storage devices into what’s perceived as one device. Cloud storage is a common form of storage virtualization.
  4. Network virtualization. Network virtualization is the combining of network connections like Internet and other Data into one seemingly visible network and then dividing the connection into separate connections. E.g., Taking a 5mb connection and assigning 2mb to your server and 3mb to employee’s computers.
In small businesses, the most popular type of virtualization is server virtualization and when many experts speak of “virtualization” they’re normally talking about server virtualization. The four types of virtualization do share common benefits though. These benefits include:
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Are virtual desktops secure?

Posted on: April 23rd, 2013 by
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One of the more popular trends companies are adopting is virtualization, moving from physical systems to cloud/server based systems. Desktop virtualization, the act of moving your desktop computers from a physical to virtual environment is a type of virtualization that’s gaining more popularity. When it comes to this trend though some companies are apprehensive about how secure virtual environments are. In general, you can do nearly everything on a virtual desktop that you can do with a physical desktop. The majority of office oriented software now has versions that operate in the cloud, or give administrators the ability to install the program on one machine and license it out to other machines. The largest difference between the two systems comes in the form of security. Virtual desktops are susceptible to the exact same security issues as their physical counterparts, but they also have a few extra potential problems which are unique to virtual machines. The biggest security issue with virtual desktops comes in the form of access. With physical machines, you can lock an office door which will usually prevent people from physically accessing the machine. With virtual machines you are not able to do this. Anyone with access and a password can get onto the machine. While this may sound like a deterrence to the adoption of virtual desktops, users should be aware that vendors are aware of this issue and have adopted measures to ensure their products are safe. In fact, if implemented properly, virtual desktops are often safer. To ensure safety of data and machines virtual desktops Continue reading the story "Are virtual desktops secure?"
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Woz and cloud problems of the future

Posted on: April 23rd, 2013 by
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Any new technology that is profoundly, or even remotely, popular will always have people who love it and people who hate it. Often, the opinion of experts in the same field is so widely varied that normal users are left wondering who to trust. One such debate that rages, almost daily in some circles, is over the cloud. One well-known tech guru has recently said he’s worried about the cloud. Mike Daisey is an American monologist who did a show about Apple’s production plant (FOXCONN) in Shenzhen, China that turned out to contain false facts. In August he updated his show and even brought on a special guest, Steve Wozniak (Woz), Co-founder of Apple. On the show, Woz talked about many things, but one of the topics resonated with the tech crowd. The topic was the security of the cloud and ownership of data and files within it. Woz stated, in no uncertain terms, that, “there are going to be a lot of horrible problems in the next five years.” He went on to explain that the reason he felt the next few years will be tough is due to ownership of information stored in the cloud. He explained, “a lot of people feel, ‘oh, everything is really on my computer’, but I say the more we transfer everything onto the web, onto the cloud, the less we’re going to have control over it…I really worry about everything going to the cloud.” Woz and other critics of the cloud are worried about who really owns your personal information in the Continue reading the story "Woz and cloud problems of the future"