virtual machine - What is Virtualization And How Can It Save Your Business?

Understanding the benefits of virtualization can help you protect your business.

Chances are you have experienced the virtual world in movies, where average people become heroes or characters gain powers they never had before. It sounds great, but what about the real world?  How can virtualization help you become a hero?

In today’s business environment, threats are everywhere.  Whether it’s hardware failures with servers and hard drives, malware or ransomware shutting down your network or file server, or a disaster that takes down your network equipment.  Failures do happen and you can’t afford to wait two weeks to have your IT provider order new equipment, setup the equipment and then restore your server or hard drives from your backup.

According to the National Archives and Records Administration, 90% of small businesses that experience even 7-days of downtime go out of business within a year.  Do you really want to wait 2 weeks?

Business Continuity is a critical component to any IT solution that you consider for your business.  Whether it’s a backup solution or protection from today’s cyber threats, if your IT provider isn’t talking to you about business continuity, then you need to look for a new provider. As the experts in IT, it's our job to make sure your business is safe and up and running so you can focus on what you do best.  Virtualization is a critical component to any business continuity plan.

Most servers in today’s business world can be easily be virtualized. As a matter of fact, it’s not uncommon for a business to have multiple virtual servers running on a single network server.  However, the most important virtual server may be your backup.

There are different types of backup capabilities that you can choose from for your business.  The simplest backup is a file level backup.  These are great for backing up your family pictures or individual files that you don’t want to lose. Most businesses should not use a file level backup as their main backup protection.

The next level of backup is what’s commonly referred to as a “bare metal” backup.  These solutions backup everything on your machine; operating system, operating and network configurations, personal settings, business applications and files.  In essence, you can restore your backup to a blank machine and you have recreated your original machine completely.  “Bare Metal” backups are the minimum level of backup for any business.  Once you have the new equipment, these backups allow you to be up and running with everything exactly like it was before, fairly quickly.  Unfortunately, not all “bare metal” backups are the same.  Most have to be restored before you can be up and running.  But the highest level of backup protection offered is a “bare metal” backup with virtualization.  These backups not only backup everything on your server or workstation, but they also allow you to quickly turn the backup into a virtual server.

By allowing a backup to become a virtual server, these backup solutions offer not only data protection for your business, but business continuity as well.  In the event of a data loss or server failure, your IT provider can virtualize your backup either onsite or in the cloud, point your workstations to the new virtual server and have you up and running in minutes, not hours, days or weeks. Minimizing your downtime and keeping you in business.  If your IT provider isn’t offering you solutions that include business continuity protection, then maybe it’s time to look for an IT provider that cares as much about your business as you do.