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Virtualization technologies

Question:

Discuss about the Virtualisation TechnologiesACL Realty.

Virtualization refers to creating a software representation of a physical representation such as hardware or other software. Hardware includes servers, networks and storage devices. It is considered to be one of the most efficient ways of reducing expenses pertaining to information technology within an organization thus improving efficiency.

Virtualization technologies

Virtualization technologies are the custom made tools used to enable virtualization and create flexibility such that existing hardware is not overburdened by workloads.

Memory virtualization

Considering that disks have more memory than the computer memory, it is possible to convert it into virtual memory for the computer so that information that the computer doesn’t use is placed into the disk memory. This helps in loading multiple programs and applications at a higher speed (TYSON, 2000).

Software virtualization

Due to advance in technology, there has been built software that possesses the capacity to completely emulate a computer. This has enabled a single computer to function as if there were several computers within a data center thus greatly reducing costs. (Halper, Hurwitz, Bloor, & Kaufman, n.d.).

Server virtualization

Since most servers run on less capacity than they were designed for, virtualization rids off this inefficiency by having several operating systems using executing as virtual machines in one physical server

Network virtualization

This involves a full replication of a physical network into software offering the same features as those of a physical network.

Desktop virtualization

Using virtualization, one can provide virtual desktops and applications to other offices or mobile employees on the devices.

Needs and importance of virtualization technologies

Reduction in spending         

Virtualization requires only a few hardware and servers with no overhead costs such as purchases, repairs or upgrades. This also ensures that the lifespan of hardware or components within them is extended (Logan, 2015).

Simplifies disaster recovery and backup

Since disasters such as floods, fires, theft and system crashes can cause huge economic losses, virtualization can assist in the recovery of these disasters since a virtual image contained in a machine can also be re-imaged in another virtual machine locally or remotely. This also automatically enables backup (Burger, 2012).

More efficiency

Virtualization enables the staff in the IT department to easily install and maintain software, update and secure a network.

Enables file access from a single point

Due to the workforce becoming mobile, it is necessary to access software and files as well as communicate. This is greatly achieved through virtualization

Easier and fast migration to the cloud

Virtualization technologies create a cloud-based mindset among its users and therefore, it is easy for the technicians to assemble and test a cloud based infrastructure as they prepare to shift to the cloud.

Reduced energy used

Virtualization ensures that less power is used because the number of hardware used is reduced through virtualization. Reduced physical hardware contributes to reduced heat generated. 

Transplace (Biddlecombe, 2008)

Key attributes of a VM to be considered an efficient VM

Partitioning

This involves the running of multiple and different types of software and/or operating systems in the same machine and thus achieve separate environments for executing same or different tasks on the same machine. The software and the operating system all consume the same set of resources used in computing from the same hardware (Reynolds, McCrory, & Marshall, 2006).

Memory virtualization

Isolation

Every virtual machine is isolated from all other virtualized machines in the environment where virtualization has been implemented. Therefore, in the event that one virtual machine becomes inactive due to errors or crashing, the other remaining machines are not affected and hence operations continue normally (Halper, Hurwitz, Bloor, & Kaufman, n.d.).

Encapsulation

Virtualization enables a virtual machine to be stored as a single file. This makes backup and recovery easy and more importantly; different hosts within a network can access a file or several of them in the event that there are several virtual machines (Jones, 2008).

Hardware independence

This means that a virtual machine can be migrated to any physical server without restrictions.

Important points to consider when using a VM as a server

Must be a proven technology

Upon deployment of a VM as a server, one needs a certain level of confidence that the VM is wide supported and used by other vendors. Since majority of huge organizations entrust their data and applications to virtual machine solutions, there is need to use a server whose technology is proven and respected including being fault tolerant. Also, the VM provider should dispatch virtual machine certified specialist to help a client in the setting up of a highly secure environment for purposes of virtualization.

Due to majority of business operations depending on the information technology services within an organization, the business owners want to have confidence that when they chose a virtual machine as a server, it is highly reliable and predictable. This is because; no business owners can afford to incur losses because a VM they chose for virtualization has failed.

High availability

A good virtual machine should be designed to provide improved availability as well as performance of all mission or business critical applications within an organization. A good virtual server should deliver the best performance with respect to the business demands.

 Disaster recovery

Due to the unpredictability of disasters, a virtual machine should be capable of providing disaster recovery capabilities. The VM should contain tools that allow quick and safe recovery of data in the event that the information technology systems and services become disrupted. This is needed because proper functioning of a business in the modern era requires IT systems and services.

Virtual appliance – this is a virtual machine image that has been pre-configured in order to enable it to successfully run on a certain virtualization environment. A virtual appliance is usually a subset of a software appliance which is an environment consisting of an operating system and also applications which are installed on a hardware whose role is running that software appliance. The virtual appliances are used in helping remove the installation, repair  as well as the maintenance costs that are normally incurred as a result of running multiple and complex software.

vApp – (virtual application) – this is usually a container used to house virtual resources such as virtual machines. It provides a great method to utilize software without the trouble of having to carry out installation of the software yourself. Therefore, you can use the software in the vApp by running virtualization software.

Software virtualization

When to use a virtual appliance

Running of old applications

If a legacy application doesn’t run on the present operating system, one can use a virtual appliance that contains an operating system supporting that old application.

If the data being accessed is infected by viruses

One can use a virtual appliance to safely open data that has been infected by a virus.

In the event that one doesn’t have a good antivirus installed, he/she can install a browser in a virtual appliance so that should they get hacked or infected with a virus, their computer and files are still safe.

Software testing, upgrading and configuring

It is important to use a virtual appliance to perform software testing, upgrading and configuration before rolling them into an actual operating system. This helps the server administrator to take note of whether the actions could cause any harm.

Conducting backup of an operating system

Operating systems are made up of files, backing them is akin to conducting backup of normal files within a computer.  Therefore, in the event that there is a hack attack that brings the computer down, one can restore the entire operating system from the backup

By using a virtual appliance, one can reuse old hardware thus removing the need for upgrading the hardware and saving IT costs within an organization (Thomas, 2011).

Virtual appliance providers

https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch01.html#features-overview

Features

Portability

No hardware virtualization required

Guest Additions: shared folders, seamless windows, 3D virtualization

Great hardware support

Guest multiprocessing (SMP)

USB device support

Hardware compatibility

Full ACPI support

Multi-screen resolutions

Built-in iSCSI support

PXE Network boot

Multi-generation branched snapshots

Clean architecture; unprecedented modularity

Remote machine display

Parallels desktop for Mac

https://www.parallels.com/products/desktop/

Features

Smart & simple one-touch tools

500 GB incremental online free backup* 
(for 1 year)

64GB vRAM / 16 vCPUs for each VM

Microsoft Visual Studio® Plug-in

Support for popular development, design, and test tools including Visual Studio, Vagrant, and Jenkins

Advanced networking tools

Application and desktop delivery

Peripheral redirection

Integration with RDS and all major hypervisors

Native clients for Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, and iOS

HTML5 client available

https://www.vmware.com/products/workstation.html?ClickID=ayov500a0ptowlr0alnvn0tpyswr5asl0stn

Features

16 vCPUs, 8 TB virtual disks and 64 GB of memory

High-Performance 3D Graphics - DirectX 10 and OpenGL 3.3

High-Resolution Display Support - 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) displays for desktops and QHD+ (3200x1800) displays used in laptops and x86 tablets.

Powerful Networking - IPv4 or IPv6 virtual networks

Restricted Access to Virtual Machines

Cross Compatibility

Shared Virtual Machines

References

https://www.parallels.com. Retrieved 5 April 2017, from https://www.parallels.com/products/desktop/

Biddlecombe, V. (2008). How One Company Used Virtualization to Lower the Cost of Disaster Recovery. CIO. Retrieved 3 April 2017, from https://www.cio.com/article/2435411/virtualization/how-one-company-used-virtualization-to-lower-the-cost-of-disaster-recovery.html

Burger, T. (2012). The Advantages of Using Virtualization Technology in the Enterprise | Intel® Software. Software.intel.com. Retrieved 3 April 2017, from https://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/the-advantages-of-using-virtualization-technology-in-the-enterprise

Chapter?1.?First steps. Virtualbox.org. Retrieved 5 April 2017, from https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch01.html#features-overview

Halper, F., Hurwitz, J., Bloor, R., & Kaufman, M. Characteristics of Virtualization in Cloud Computing - dummies. dummies. Retrieved 3 April 2017, from https://www.dummies.com/programming/cloud-computing/virtualization/characteristics-of-virtualization-in-cloud-computing/

Jones, R. (2008). The role of virtualization in data center disaster recovery. SearchDataCenter. Retrieved 3 April 2017, from https://searchdatacenter.techtarget.com/tip/The-role-of-virtualization-in-data-center-disaster-recovery

Logan, K. (2015). The Advantages and Disadvantages of Virtualization. Milner.com. Retrieved 3 April 2017, from https://milner.com/company/blog/technology/2015/07/14/the-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-virtualization

Ohlhorst, F. (2010). Eight great virtual appliances for VMware, free for the downloading. InfoWorld. Retrieved 5 April 2017, from https://www.infoworld.com/article/2626259/data-center/server-virtualization-eight-great-virtual-appliances-for-vmware-free-for-the-downloading.html

Paule, S. (2009). Top 10 VMware Virtual Appliances for IT Administrators. shareVM- Share insights about using VM's. Retrieved 5 April 2017, from https://sharevm.wordpress.com/2009/09/23/top-ten-vmware-virtual-appliances-for-it-administrators/

Reynolds, W., McCrory, D., & Marshall, D. (2006). Types of Server Virtualization Technologies. Ittoday.info. Retrieved 3 April 2017, from https://www.ittoday.info/Articles/Server_Virtualization_Technologies/Server_Virtualization_Technologies.htm

Thomas, K. (2011). 10 Cool Things Virtualization Lets You Do. PCWorld. Retrieved 5 April 2017, from https://www.pcworld.com/article/220644/10_Cool_Things_Virtualization_Lets_You_Do.html

TYSON, J. (2000). How Virtual Memory Works. HowStuffWorks. Retrieved 3 April 2017, from https://computer.howstuffworks.com/virtual-memory.htm

Virtualization Technology & Virtual Machine Software. Vmware.com. Retrieved 3 April 2017, from https://www.vmware.com/solutions/virtualization.html

Wallen, J. (2013). 10 benefits of virtualization in the data center - TechRepublic. TechRepublic. Retrieved 3 April 2017, from https://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10-things/10-benefits-of-virtualization-in-the-data-center/

Workstation for Windows - VMware Products. Vmware.com. Retrieved 5 April 2017, from https://www.vmware.com/products/workstation.html?ClickID=ayov500a0ptowlr0alnvn0tpyswr5asl0stn

Answer:

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