Server virtualisation is definitely not a new concept in the working world and while there are still those that view it as “new technology” companies who have already adopted virtualisation cannot imagine a day without it.

Virtualisation has been viewed as a game changer because it is the single, most effective way to reduce IT expenses while boosting efficiency and agility. Whether you’re new to virtualisation or use it every day we want you to take full advantage of the benefits virtualisation offers. In this three-part post we’ll look at nine benefits of server virtualisation.

Increased uptime

Most server virtualisation platforms offer features, like VMware high availability, that keep your virtual machines running smoothly but more importantly give them the ability to recover much faster than traditional physical servers during an unplanned outage.

Reduced data centre footprint

Virtualising your servers can drastically reduce your data centre footprint which is good news for your bottom line. Reducing the number of physical servers also reduces the amount of networking gear, generators, rack space and floor space you need which adds up.

Cost savings

As mentioned in our previous point the cost of maintaining physical servers can really add up. Virtualising your server environment can drastically help you save not only on the time it takes to administer physical servers but less downtime means improved productivity for your end users which ultimately affects the bottom line.

Improved data recovery

With traditional systems, depending on the size and how much data has been lost, it can take one to two days to completely restore a system. With server virtualisation, it’s possible to reduce the amount of time needed to completely restore a system to four hours or less.  One of the reasons this is possible is the fact that it is not really necessary to rebuild servers, applications or even operating systems separately because they exist elsewhere and can be brought back online.

Extended life of older applications

Many businesses still rely on legacy applications. Business may keep these around because they don’t run on a modern operating systems or newer hardware or simply because the IT team is afraid to touch them but regardless of the reasoning it is now possible to breathe new life into these applications. By virtualising the application and its environment, you can extend its life and maintain uptime.

Faster server provisioning

In the past companies were forced to over-provision servers to ensure that they would meet user demand but thankfully through virtualisation that has changed. Server virtualisation enables flexible capacity to provide system provisioning and deployment at a moment’s notice.

Helps you make the move to the cloud

Virtualising your servers for many is considered the first step towards a move into the cloud. Virtualising your environment and removing the underlying hardware ensures that when you feel the time has come and you are ready to move your data out of your data centre and into a cloud hosting facility, you have a head start.

Improved energy efficiency

More businesses are invested in operating in an environmentally sustainable way. If this is one of your business goals virtualisation can help you go green.  Moving your physical servers over to virtual machines and consolidating them onto fewer physical servers means lowering monthly power and cooling costs in the data centre so not only are you saving money, you’re also decreasing your overall environmental footprint.

The ability to move running virtual machines

If you’ve ever had to move your servers from one host to another you know what that means for downtime. Virtualising your servers gives you the ability, through features like VMware’s vMotion, to move a running virtual machine from one host to another with no downtime.