When running a small business, you need to make sure that you are operating as efficiently as possible. For many startups, this means getting the most out of your technology budget. One of the best ways to do this today is through the use of virtualization technologies. Virtualization makes it so single computer systems can be efficiently shared to multiple users through the use of virtual machines, or VMs. In many situations, this means you can dramatically reduce your hardware costs, licensing costs, power usage, and even downtime.
If you want to use virtualization optimize your computer systems, you will need to have a hypervisor in place. A hypervisor is software that runs on the virtualized hardware to allow access to the system’s components. This is also the software that allows you to create and manage virtual machines so that your teams can access them. Two of the most popular hypervisors on the market today are Hyper-V and VMware. Take a moment to learn about each of these options so that you can make sure to get the best value for your company.
Hyper-V is the hypervisor option from Microsoft. It is natively available on all Windows Server operating systems since 2008. Hyper-V can also come as a standalone software option that can be downloaded free of charge so that you can use it on systems beyond Windows Server if you choose. This option is considered a type-1 hypervisor, which can also be called a bare-metal hypervisor, since it operates on the hardware directly.
If you choose to use Hyper-V as your hypervisor solution, you will benefit from a variety of important features. These features can help to improve your systems in many different ways as long as you take the time to set them up and configure them properly. Some of the most important features to be aware of when using Hyper-V include:
- Portability – You can migrate your virtual machines to different systems or departments through the built-in import/export tools. This can be done on live systems as well so you don’t have to take your virtual environment down to move VMs around.
- Simple Remote Connectivity – You can connect to Hyper-V from a remote location and manage its features just like you were physically at the hardware. This makes it much easier to manage your virtual environments.
- Integrated Security – This system has a number of security features built right in, including Secure Boot, which helps to prevent problems caused by malware.
- Backup and Restoration – Hyper-V has the ability to create backups of VMs so that they can be quickly restored in the event of a hardware failure or a mistake with configuring devices.
This is all in addition to the main functionality of being able to create a variety of different types of virtual machines on one piece of hardware. Creating VMs through Hyper-V is fast and easy, making it a great option even for those who are new to virtualization.
VMware is another very popular hypervisor. It started out as its own company, which was then acquired by EMC, and finally EMC was acquired by Dell. The hypervisor program most people will use is known as VMware vSphere, which is a full suite of different products for virtualization. ESXi is their type-1 hypervisor, which offers the same basic abilities as Hyper-V.
When you use VMware, you will have access to many different tools and components to give you the abilities you need to fully manage your entire virtual environment. The following are some of the key items to be aware of:
- VMware vSphere Client – This is the interface that allows you to connect remotely to the main management tools so you can run your entire system from anywhere with an internet connection. It is a browser-based tool that uses HTML5.
- Distributed Switch – If you are going to have more than one virtual hosts, this tool will allow you to connect to them all at the same time.
- Virtual SMP – This system allows you to apply resources from multiple physical processors to specific virtual machines.
- vMotion – This is the migration system that allows you to actively move systems even when they are in use.
- vSphere Software Development Kit – This allows you to access interfaces that will let you create programs or apps to help customize and manage your virtual environment.
As with Hyper-V, there are other great tools and features that you can take advantage of depending on what type of environment you require. The VMware platform does have a lot more options in it, which many companies will appreciate. Of course, the added features and options also add in complexity, which can make it more difficult to manage if you are not already experienced with this type of system.
Which is Right for You?
Both Hyper-V and VMware are great tools that are used by millions of companies around the world. While they can be simple enough for a startup company, they can also have the advanced features that major organizations require. This means that you can continue to use either of these systems as your company grows and expands.
If you are already using Windows Server, the chances are that the Hyper-V solution will be the one you want to go with. This is because it comes installed already so you can use it without added expenses or having to install additional software. If you are not using Windows Server systems, or you have an environment with both Windows and non-Windows systems, you may prefer the flexibility and additional features that are built into VMware. Either way, both of these impressive tools can really help to make it easier and more effective than ever to harness the power of virtualization for your startup.