The world of web hosting is a huge one - with many, many offers. We have already produced a glossary of the most important web hosting terms. It includes in particular dedicated and shared servers. Today, we present one more hosting option: virtual servers. We explain what follows what happens with server virtualisation and the benefits it offers.
What are virtual servers?
Virtual Servers are a type of web hosting where a physical server is split into a number of virtual servers. Each server is supplied with a specific part of the hardware resources - depending on its needs. These servers have the ability to run their own operating system. This offers a variety of benefits which we would like to present here.
Electricity and energy are expensive. Every household has a tale to tell about this. In particular for enterprises, the electricity and thus money which can be saved with virtual servers could well be of interest.
The virtualisation of physical servers to virtual servers leads to fewer physical servers. This makes sense. These savings allow lower cooling costs, less space required in the data centre and, of course, lower electricity costs. Each of these factors can add up to a large sum, if it can be saved each month.
Operating time is increased
The target figure for operating time availability is 99.9%. This is already very high. Virtual servers allow an equally stable operating time - possibly even higher - to be maintained.
Server migration allows hardware maintenance during working hours. For this, the applications must be transferred to another running period. This does not cause an interruption in the service, which is, of course, desirable in any case.
Faster integration of backups
There always comes a time when a crash occurs. Unfortunately, this is an inevitable law of nature for hardware. However, given this inevitability with web hosting there should be rapid recovery. The key concept for this is "disaster recovery".
For virtual servers, this disaster recovery usually takes place via automated processes, resulting in an extremely short downtime and little expenditure. Another advantage is the possibility to test an actual failure. Many web hosting providers offer these tests. It is very interesting to see how well the disaster recovery plan works in your system. This provides you not only security, but also an approximate estimate of how long a failure would last.
IIsolation of applications
On physical servers, an application is usually outsourced to a server. By including multiple virtual servers on a physical server, applications can still be isolated. The resources that are required for these applications can be accurately calculated. This supports an optimal hardware utilisation, so that the servers are kept busy and underuse of an individual server does not occur. This is often the case with physical servers.
Reduction of server deployment time
The move to virtual servers allows extremely fast server deployment. It can create templates for structural and security policies. Rapid server migration and the associated movement of data is very easy. This in turn leads to a very short server deployment time, which should make every customer happy.
The benefits of virtual servers are very large. Even if the technology is considered fairly new, it has been used for over ten years and has steadily improved. However, some myths have arisen about the disadvantages of virtual servers which are to a large extent untrue.
As already described above, there are a number of advantages to using virtual servers. Virtual servers are consequently becoming more and more popular, just like many cloud services.